Desan Padayachee is the president of the Criterion Theatre in Grafton.
Desan Padayachee is the president of the Criterion Theatre in Grafton.

The show cannot go on, but theatre sees the bright side

THE show cannot go on as Australia and the world grapple with a deepening pandemic, but Grafton’s theatres have not let the forced closure of the venues this week get them down.

As cases of COVID-19 in Australia hit more than 2000 this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement entertainment venues including cinemas and theatres could not stay open, an essential decision to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Criterion Theatre’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat was ready to take centre stage this weekend, but theatre president Desan Padayachee said the show was postponed to hopefully become the theatre’s Christmas performance.

“We’re looking on the bright side of all of this and making the most of an empty theatre,” Mr Padayachee said.

The rare occasion of the completely empty theatre means a few odd jobs that have been waiting in the wings for years can be checked off the list.

Mr Padayachee said the floors were being sanded and revarnished, a new awning was being constructed at the front of the building and the costume department would undergo a thorough clean-out.

The Criterion committee will reconvene in June to reassess the situation.

In the meantime Mr Padayachee said ticketholders to Criterion shows would receive­ an automatic refund if purchased online via Sticky Tickets and if bought with cash from Buckleys Music could present their ticket for a full cash refund.

“People will miss it (theatre), they’ll definitely miss it,” he said.

“Most of our audiences are regulars and they look forward to it.

“But then most of our audience is in that high-risk age range … we’re looking out for them as much as ourselves.”

Mr Padayachee said the theatre would be ready to get plenty of productions back on the agenda as soon as possible when the pandemic was finally over.



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