By ANNETTE SNARSshow
It’s during tough times such as COVID restrictions, health concerns and job security worries, that we would like to draw on our entertainment venues to help us through, but sadly, with lockdown, theatres are amongst the hardest hit with immediate closure and no clear indication of reopening.
Saturday, June 26th was to be closing night for Castle Hill Players’ highly successful season of Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan, however, a government announcement of a lockdown commencing at 6pm that day forced the cancellation of the performance.
Director, Dave Went felt a deep loss for his 18 strong cast and crew who were unable to perform one last time, share in the success, the fun and excitement of that final audience, and get together at the end of the show to say thank you and farewell to each other.
‘What we really need after all this is a really great party to properly lay rest to our many visits to the Isle of Inishmaan!’ Dave relayed to his cast via the group Facebook page, promising the traditional closing night party will definitely go ahead at some point in the future.
Not to be forgotten in all this, the 12 member cast and crew of the incoming play, Entertaining Angels by Rupert Everett, directed by Jennifer Willison, have been placed on hold, with their rehearsals now being conducted via Zoom.
They have no access to the stage (at the Pavilion Theatre, Castle Hill Showground), denying them any opportunity to build their set, let alone make the Green Room their own, and work towards opening night.
The play was originally due to open this Friday, July 30, however that became impossible with the announcement of an extended lockdown period.
The complex set of ‘Inishmaan’ remains onstage and when the theatre is finally reopened it will be all hands on deck to bump out and commence building the ‘Angels’ set in the shortest time possible.
While a set bump out takes 3 to 4 hours, the build and set dressing can take up to three weeks, but it is highly likely the team won’t have anything like that amount of time, in the hope of getting Entertaining Angels on stage and in front of audiences at the very first opportunity.
We would like to think we could present ‘Angels’ and Roald Dahl’s The Witches this year, but it is all completely dependent on the
lockdown ending and the theatre being open to the public. Until then, performance dates are very much up in the air.
CHP President, Bernard Teuben, stated in the July edition of the members’ Newsletter: “If the lockdown continues much longer the remainder of the season will be a bit of a shambles, but the committee is constantly monitoring the latest and reviewing the options, so keep an ear out and book your tickets early when the dates are confirmed and on sale again.”
Sound advice from Bernard, who knows all too well ‘the show must go on!’ shows
Announcements will be made on the CHP website www.paviliontheatre.org.au and on the Facebook Pavilion Theatre – Castle Hill Players shows shows