Limiting of numbers rules out autumn shows at Moate's Tuar Ard
The stage in Moate's Tuar Ard Theatre usually comes alive with music and drama during the autumn months, but sadly that won't be the case this year as the local venue has had to cancel the vast majority of its autumn programme.
There was much confusion last month over the numbers allowed at theatrical performances, until it was eventually clarified that up to 50 people could be in attendance.
However, Tuar Ard manager Mary Denissen told the Westmeath Independent that the limiting of attendees, to comply with social distancing requirements, meant very few shows would be financially viable.
"We made the decision a few months ago that we wouldn't be going ahead with our autumn programme because our theatre, which has a capacity of 174, is now down to only 34 with social distancing," she said.
"It's not really financially viable for anyone to put on a show there, and if you had local amateur (productions), for example, there would be too many people on stage and backstage."
She said the only events with audiences that would be going ahead this autumn would be some Tuar Ard Film Club screenings and "maybe one or two comedy events where there are very few people on stage."
She said the theatre in Moate was currently being used to host meetings, and it would also be utilised as a venue for Moate Business College classes.
"If groups are having a board meeting, with twelve people for example, there's loads of space available to do that, and the business college are also going to use the theatre for lectures.
"So basically we're not running cultural events, it's all around helping others for the moment, " Mary commented.