WATERFORD’S Theatre Royal is bracing itself with great anticipation for the latter part of the year, when it hopes to resume some semblance of commercial and performance-led normality.
Speaking during Waterford Chamber’s recently held ‘Resurgence 25X’ seminar, Theatre Royal Manager Mary Boland said that the theatre “has a responsibility and an opportunity to assist with the ongoing delivery of work with established and emerging artists and organisations”.
She continued: “From our findings and experiences throughout 2020, we’re now well placed to support this work. The Theatre Royal has learned and continues to learn how to present work during a pandemic inside a controlled theatre building. The team’s training and upskilling as well as experiences can provide assistance to creatively-led work as well as to organisations who need to present meetings, conferences, etc.
“Future creative practices and work is being programmed for the early part of 2021. This work can continue inside the theatre building. It can rehearse and develop and perform throughout what we see will be a quiet time. If we’re unable to welcome in live audiences at that time, the work will be live streamed out to peoples’ homes – a preview of what’s to come later.”
This, said Mary Boland, makes for a very exciting prospect. “It will allow work to continue to be created with a view to being seen at a later date. Once we all see a light at the end of that tunnel we will, and have already begun to do so, build a programme of activity that includes all performance genres – commercial comedy, musical, national theatre, pantomime as well as art-led music and theatre and dance – and we plan to host a cultural explosion in the latter end of 2021.”
Might this be too ambitious and optimistic, Mary herself suggested? “Perhaps. But we need to be ambitious and optimistic to ensure the continued future engagement for and with artists and for and with audiences.”