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Reinstated Restrictions in Melbourne Cause Setbacks For Theatre Companies

Reinstated Restrictions in Melbourne Cause Setbacks For Theatre Companies

Theatres in Melbourne were hoping to make a comeback soon, but with restrictions being re-instated, it could be up to four months before that can happen, The Guardian reports.

"It is devastating," said Claire Spencer, chief executive of Arts Centre Melbourne. "We completely understand that it needs to happen and that this is the right call from the perspective of community safety, but for us ... it is devastating, personally. It's not just having our venues closed. It's also that we're removed from our purpose. It's about more than just money. This feels like we're having to take a big step back."

Arts Centre Melbourne had planned to reopen in late June for a cabaret performance with an audience of 50 socially distanced patrons. Spencer says the shows sold out right away.

Elizabeth Hill-Cooper, CEO of the Victorian Opera, says that their company is struggling again too, after being set to release new work online. All of their hard work

"We had already engaged a raft of singers and designers and costumiers, we had pivoted the whole company to digital," Hill-Cooper said. "Now we have to postpone all that because the filming was scheduled for smack in the middle of this next six weeks."

Melbourne Theatre Company was set to present Shakespeare's As You Like It, opening on 14 September. While the company has not made any official postponement plans, the September date seems unlikely.

Other productions affected include Everybody's Talking About Jamie scheduled for Arts Centre Melbourne in October, Opera Australia and Gordon Frost Organisation's production of The Secret Garden at Her Majesty's, and Fiddler on the Roof at the Comedy Theatre, in November. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was also exploring the possibility of reopening in September.

Read more on The Guardian.

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