Theatre restaurant won't be served
Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.
ARARAT Theatre Company has cancelled its end-of-year theatre restaurant in the latest blow to the performing arts.
The announcement comes after the Ararat Musical Comedy Society postponed its production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ earlier in the year, and the One Act Play Festival was cancelled.
Company president, Andrew Evans, said the committee held out for as long as possible before making the call to abandon the annual play.
“If you're not actually working on it by now, chances of you putting on a good end-of-year show are getting towards slim. We’re better putting it off until next year when we can run a good show,” he said.
“The end of year show is a lot of fun, not only for the people that are in it but for the people who come along. We always get a good audience and it's just a fun thing to do.
“And of course, people are locked away in their homes, the last thing they need is to not be able to look forward to something like that.”
The company was planning to perform the sequel to ‘Caravans’ which they staged last year.
‘Caravans; The Trailer’ includes the same characters from the original and is set in a caravan park a year after the first storyline.
The script is written by locals John Mawson and Rob Smith, and both were planning to direct this year for the last time.
“Quite frankly, it was going to be my swan song. It was going to be the last one we did as directors,” Mr Mawson said.
“For everyone to put in the amount of work you have to do to get it up. There's always the problem that you could be cancelled at very short notice and I think that's pretty tough.”
The continued impact on local theatre groups is playing heavily on their members. Mr Evans said the local performers that he is in touch with are “not so good.”
”It becomes a tradition, it becomes something that people do every year,” he said.
“Not having that, it means that a whole range of your extended family are not available to you and that's not nice from a social perspective, and particularly those who don't cope well without a social outlet.
“If you're in the (Ararat Musical Comedy Society) or you're in the end-of year-show, it's not terribly likely that you're introverted.”
Attention will now shift to the possibilities in 2021, which will depend on the situation with COVID-19.
Mr Mawson said “it’s up to the committee” in regards to whether he and Rob Smith will return for one last hurrah.