The GACCI Players are busy rehearsing for their November production with hopes the show will proceed in a COVID-safe manner.
The group, which is a facet of the Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Inc (GACCI), typically puts on two theatre performances a year. But this year has been a little different.
As per normal, they started rehearsal for the May production in late January but halfway through, the COVID -19 pandemic hit and they made the decision to cancel. It was a crushing blow to the volunteers, who put in many hours to get the show ready for the community, as well as for those who love to watch them perform. The group decided to shelf the murder mystery dinner theatre production until things get back to a pre-COVID normal.
When the restrictions started to ease, the group started discussing the idea of moving ahead with their November production. As it will be a theatre-style performance, they will be more able to accommodate safe distance seating. So rehearsals have started for the unnamed play due to be staged at the end of November.
According to director Mo Hjorth the plan is to have more shows with less seats.
"The general feeling around the community it that people are wanting a show to look forward to," Mo explained. "We will keep planning to perform and hope for the best come opening night."
The performing arts has been hit pretty hard by COVID restrictions but the GACCI Players recognise it also has taken a toll on those who enjoy live theatre.
The players aren't the only part of GACCI to be affected by COVID. The restrictions forced the closure its Gloucester Gallery from Monday, March 23 until Monday, June 1. The knock-on affect from the closure meant a reshuffle of scheduled exhibits and the innovation of presenting exhibitions online. GACCI's annual photography competition, Pix From the Stix was also heavily impacted as it typically runs a physical exhibition in the gallery. The competition also underwent a transformation to be run wholly online.
The players are hoping to run performances from Thursday, November 26 to Saturday November 28 at the Gloucester Citizens Centre.