Performers in limbo

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DO you hear the people sing?

Well we will, but maybe not until next year.

The famous line from Les Miserables’ anthem will not be heard until 2021 when the Invercargill Musical Theatre (IMT) company will take to the stage to perform the show.

IMT was scheduled to perform the musical, adapted from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, in July.

Auditions had been held and preparations were under way, however when Covid-19 struck, the show had to be postponed.

IMT vice-president Bernadette Gourley said because the organisation was part of a consortium of theatre companies which hired the set, props and costumes to put on the show, the season had to be put on hold.

“We can’t actually do that now until July next year.

“We will get the cast up and running early next year.”

Production team personnel would be the same but auditions would need to be reheld for a variety of reasons including the unavailability of some cast members.

“We haven’t confirmed whether we will be reauditioning the whole company again or just some roles.”

The financial implications of not having a major show this year meant IMT would not make money from its major funding source, she said.

“No show means no income for IMT for the whole of 2020, and we still have to pay rates, power and the insurance.”

Although the Community Trust provided a significant contribution to the running costs as well as the IMT being able to get a wage subsidy from the Government, the organisation was now having to dip into its reserves until another large-scale production could be performed.

“It’s still tens of thousands of dollars that we need to find to keep the doors open.

“We need to be doing something next year to get the income back.”

A meeting was being held last night to discuss ideas on how they could start involving IMT members during the downtime.

These would include low-risk performances for IMT in case they needed to cancel performances in the future.

“It is a time of diversifying a little bit, and seeing what we can still manage that we can do on a smaller scale perhaps but still give people some entertainment.”

It was important to the community to ensure IMT returned, she said.

“It puts some soul back into the community. It’s a feel good, it’s entertainment and it’s a happy thing.”

There were already plans in place to ensure development of the arts still continued.

“In the July school holidays we are, in conjunction with a group called Triple Threat Academy New Zealand, running a workshop which will include singing, dance and acting,” Gourley said.

Participants did not need to have any musical theatre or acting experience to be part of the workshop, she said.

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