The outbreak of Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on all local clubs and groups but none more so than drama and musical societies who, by their very nature, are required to meet in person.
The Castlerea Musical Society was no exception of course as the pandemic forced the popular and successful local institution into an unwelcome two-year hiatus.
Secretary Mary Heaney said members were devastated when their highly-anticipated production of The Addams Family had to be postponed four weeks out from opening night back in 2020.
“Our rehearsals were called off in 2020…we made the decision ourselves just before the Government introduced the lockdown,” Mary said.
“We were due to stage The Addams Family in April 2020 and no one knew how long this dreaded virus would go on for. Initially, we postponed the production until autumn 2020 and then we had to postpone until April of last year…”
Due to the rising number of cases early last year it was decided to postpone once more until 2022 but a similar post-Christmas trend meant the show just couldn’t go on.
“The numbers rose again over last Christmas but we were hoping to return early this year. We decided to call a meeting of cast members just before Christmas and a lot of people thought back to the previous Christmas and the trouble we had in early 2021. Our decision was to postpone once more without putting a date on our return,” Mary said.
The musical society has nothing planned for 2022 so far but it is hoped that members will return later in the year with the aim of staging the long-awaited production in early 2023.
“Back in December people just felt they wouldn’t be comfortable if rehearsals were to start in mid-January, which was completely understandable with the number of cases,” Mary said.
“Social distancing was still in place back then…I mean how could you put 30 people on stage and why would you put some people in danger?”
While it might take a bit longer than first expected, Castlerea’s Musical Society will return stronger than ever, according to its secretary: “People will come back of course, and we are looking forward to that. We’re just hoping everyone will be available for our big production next year!”