Theatre in Queensland Slowly Reopens
Following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions to Grade 3, Theatres in Queensland are slowly getting back to business late in July. Peter Pinne reports.
Spotlight Theatrical Company, at Benowa on the Gold Coast, commence performances this weekend with The Bodyguard – The Musical which will play from 31 July to 22 August. Their Covid-19 safe plan is very comprehensive - one way in and one way out, all patrons must adhere to social distancing, and you must take your seats in the auditorium as soon as you arrive. You must use the touch free sanitizer unit in the foyer and all individual ticket holders’ details have to be recorded for contact tracing. The interval will be extended so there will be plenty of time to go to the bathroom. No online ticket purchases. They must be ordered by calling the ticket office or in person. Table service will be available for drinks when you arrive, at interval and after the show so that everybody doesn’t have to leave together.
Redcliffe Musical Theatre also commence performances this weekend with Terrence O’Connell’s Minefields and Miniskirts at Redcliffe Cultural Centre. Their safe plan is that all tickets will be offered as general admission. No booking via numbered seating as they need to remain flexible to be able to create a personalized seating plan for each performance to allow groups booking together to sit together but also keep groups socially distanced from each other. Pre-packaged food items will only be on sale at the canteen, and all patrons must supply their personal details. These will be taken when you book, and double-checked when you arrive at the venue. It plays 24 July until 2 August.
Brisbane Powerhouse has also reopened and is now featuring their Lights On series.
60 Dancers: 60 Stories - Queensland Ballet - 7-8 August; Songs from the Shutdown with Brisbane singer-songwriter Robert Forster (The Go Betweens) hosting an evening with Darren Hanlon, Sycco and Minor Premiers, 14-15 August; Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Tom Thumb - 21-22 August. Covid- safe measures include contactless payment only (no cash will be accepted). Keeping 1.5 metres away from others at all times in the venue where possible. Providing your details is a condition of entry, and tickets will be scanned inside the theatre by a socially distanced staff member.
Harvest Rain’s 100 seat theatre at @Hayward Street Studios is back open for business. During July Godspell has been presented by the full time students of the Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre, with their production of All Shook Up to follow in September. You can see a video of how everything has been made COVID-safe on the Harvest Rain Facebook page.
The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, has also reopened with the ticket office selling tickets Mondays to Wednesdays. Upcoming programs include: The Best of The Bee Gees - 21 August; Herman’s Hermits - 28 August; Judith Lucy - 3 October; Ross Noble - 23 September; The Gruffalo’s Child - 20-21 October; Aladdin – Toowoomba Ballet Theatre, 18-19 December. Contactless payments, personal details, and seat separation are required.
Opera Q’s rescheduled ‘Studio Recital Series’ finds Bradley Daley in Songs of Wagner and Strauss - 31 July – 1 August; Jason Barry Smith in A Life in Many Parts - 28-29 August and Jose Carbo in A Musical Life from 11-12 September.
Brisbane Arts Theatre is back in the full swing of things with The Last Tango in Little Grimley and The Last Panto in Little Grimley playing Friday and Saturday nights from 17 July until 1 August. The children’s show Curious George: The Golden Meatball plays 1 August until 12 September, whilst You’ve Got Hate Mail is on from 8 August until 5 September.
Villanova Players resume their 2020 season with Joanna Murrray Smith’s Switzerland from 21-23 August, followed by James Goldman’s The Lion In Winter from 7-22 November. Both plays are at the Seven Hills Theatre, Morningside.
Phoenix Ensemble at Beenleigh are restarting their 2020 season with Kinky Boots, playing September 4 - 23 in the Tin Shed theatre. All tickets will be offered as general admission, allowing our administration team to create a personalized seating plan for each performance to allow groups booking together to sit together but also keeping groups socially distanced from each other. Capacity is at approximately 50% to allow for this. Pre-packaged food items will only be on sale at Lucky's Bar, and all patrons must supply their personal details, which will be checked when you arrive at the venue. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance of the theatre and there is a separate entrance and exit.
Queensland Theatre are hoping to present a mini-season from their 2020 season from October to include Triple X, Prima Facie and The Holidays.
Morton Bay Theatre Company are currently presenting a cabaret Looking Back Moving Forward, and are auditioning for The Best of British, a performance of songs from Great Britain.
No word on when QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts centre) or La Boite will reopen, but at least the lights are beginning to be switched on in many venues across the State.