12 August 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Two Monaghan women have played key roles in the return of one of Dublin’s oldest and best known theatres to live performance following the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Laura McGuigan from Threemilehouse is General Manager of the Gaiety Theatre, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, while Monaghan Town woman Sarah Hall is the theatre’s Deputy Venue Manager.

Their efforts saw the curtain go up on the Gaiety stage on Saturday night last for the first time in 17 months as a limited capacity audience enjoyed the first in a four-performance run of an operatic version of the famous James Joyce short story, “The Dead”. The iconic theatre on South King Street in Dublin City centre has a capacity of 1,115 but audiences for the weekend shows were limited to 50 per performance. Laura McGuigan called on the Government this week to give the live entertainment sector an early indication of the roadmap that would enable a fuller reopening. Ms McGuigan said theatres would welcome the opportunity to use the “vaccination passport” system introduced in the hospitality sector if it meant they could open to larger audiences.

“We are so accustomed to ticket checking at every show so it stands to reason that if we were even given the opportunity to use vaccination passports, that is something we could implement so easily if it meant we got our capacity back to a level that made sense for the business to reopen,” she said in an interview with the Irish Independent. “At the moment we are allowed 50 people and they don’t have to be vaccinated.”

The production of “The Dead, An Opera” was facilitated by funding from the Live Performance Support Scheme and Ms McGuigan said that without such support it wasn’t commercially…

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