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Anna Maria Barrett as Paulette,the hairdresser, in a previous Shannon Musical Society production Legally Blonde. Photograph by John Kelly.

Curtain falls on Shannon Musical Society’s hope for 2022 show

HAVING first decided to postpone its 2022 show, Shannon Musical Society has now decided to cancel it altogether.

Its production of Little Shop of Horrors was going to happen in April, but the Society felt that despite the loosening of restrictions, allowing it to go ahead could potentially result in serious problems.

Aodán Fox was set to direct the production, and he said it had been a difficult decision.

“It was a tough call to have to make to be honest, but there were several concerns. The fact that we could have been in a position financially to put ourselves in major danger if we had all the outlay and we were hit by Omicron, either the week before or the week of the show and have to cancel, that was a major concern.

“It could put the Society in grave danger of not being able to continue. After chatting it out with the cast and the committee, it was felt it was safer to put it to one side and continue when things are safer and you are more likely to be able to continue.”

“It’s very difficult at the minute to know what’s going to happen and though it’s looking brighter, it was coming in fast and there was going to be a huge financial outlay.

“Musical Society shows can cost in excess of €60-70,000 per production, it’s a massive amount of outlay for a small society with the threat of having to cancel.”

He was involved with Ennis Musical Society a couple of years ago, when it had to close its show after just one night, meaning it couldn’t recoup the spending that had already gone into the show. The Society’s AGM will be in the spring and the committee will decide the next steps then.

“Usually the AGM is in April, the current committee, the majority of them have been in situ for the last two years and I’m sure plenty of them are looking for a break,” said Aodán.

“There’ll be a new committee elected and it’ll be up to them what happens, whether they decide to do a smaller production or to put things on ice.

“Usually the Society is kind of on ice from May to September anyway, a few things happen but nothing major. It’s hard to know if they’ll decide to come back early with something or go with the usual timeframe, it’s hard to call it at the moment.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.