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Aódan Fox, left, with Clare McNelis, and Féidhlim Hillery, rehearsing for a previous Shannon Musical Society production. Photograph by John Kelly.

Shannon Show must not go on…for now

THE Shannon Musical Society’s annual production has had to be postponed from February until April, due to Covid-19, writes Owen Ryan.

Huge numbers attend the shows every year, and this year the Society are set to perform Little Shop of Horrors, but with a massive amount of Covid infections, the show is not set to be put back until the week of April 10-16.

This year the group were set to perform Little Shop of Horrors and director Aodán Fox said that the postponement is disappointing, and he hopes the show will be able to go ahead on the new dates.

“We kind of started very tentatively and when we were picking a show we picked a small cast, small band musical, because we knew it was going to be a difficult year. Rehearsals have been going on with major social distancing and breaks for air every half an hour, as recommended. It’s gutting to have to postpone it, it’s pushed out to April with the hope that we’ll be able to proceed then, but at the minue you just don’t know do you, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Aodán said that at the moment it is very hard to even rehearse. “Having no groups together after 8pm kind of put the kibosh on everything until the end of January, we don’t even know when we’ll be able to get back rehearsing again.”

The latest set of restrictions came into being when the Society had already broken for Christmas but there had already been some discussion about provisional arrangements if Covid presented greater problems.

“When we finished up we were hoping to come back in January and tear into it full pelt. But we had been talking about what we would do if there was a problem, we had put some feelers out for availability of cast, orchestra, things like that, and would it be a runner if we pushed things out. Everyone still seems to be on board, but there’s nothing finalised and it’s very difficult to make firm plans.”

He feels that the efforts already made are not wasted, but there are a lot of problems resulting from the change of dates.

“What we’ve done is banked, the first couple of rehearsals are sort of learning the music and setting the first couple of routines and blocking scenes. That work is done and it shouldn’t be a big effort to get that back to where it was.

“I suppose the uncertainty is around everything else, the availability of everything and getting everything lined up For this show you have to hire a plant and we have to make sure it’s available for the new date.

“There’s lighting guys and set guys and getting those available and there’s cast availability, people committed to the show expecting to be finished by the middle of February but now it’s being pushed out to the middle of April.”

The current situation is disappointing, but unavoidable, he concluded. “It’s very frustrating for everyone, but I suppose it’s the way the world is at the moment.”

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