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24 May 2022

Curtains up and restrictions out at local theatres x y

Paul O'Mearapaul@leinsterleader.ie

“It’s a huge weight off our shoulders.”

Celine Garvey’s reaction to the end of the lockdown is unsurprising given that the entertainment sector has paid more than most for the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. “I hope this doesn’t sound corny because I genuinely mean it, but I want to thank everybody in the community who has been so supportive and understanding,” said Ms Garvey. She cited the example of having to alter bookings for 1,000 people one weekend and they were understanding.

Ms Garvey is the manager of Naas’ Moat Theatre which has survived the pandemic. This is despite having to reduce audiences numbers by 50% at a time.

Theatre management ensured at all times that the Covid-19 regulations were observed and sanitation stations will remain in place at the venue because, despite the lifting of restrictions, some will still be nervous of catching the virus. Some shows have been rescheduled from this month and February to later in the year and while many patrons were inconvenienced, the theatres were often left with little time to make new arrangements as rules were changed frequently over the past 20 months.

“We’re delighted to be able to welcome capacity audiences back,” said Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, PR manager Caroline Williams. “We are grateful to our members for bearing with us over the past two years and being understanding.”

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