Theatre company finally raise curtain on show delayed for six months
- Credit: FADLOS
A Norfolk theatre company has proved that 'the show must go on' after it finally raised the curtain on a long-awaited live show.
Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society (FADLOS) presented Chicago at the town’s Community Centre from December 8 - 12.
Originally planned as a production for May, the show had to be put on hold when the pandemic hit.
Two lockdowns, a host of changes to the staging, and a vastly reduced audience, Broadway classic Chicago was finally performed.
And when the opening bars to All That Jazz kicked in, it was all it took for the audience to come alive.
“This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of a small group of volunteers working behind the scenes,” Peter Blakeley, committee member for FADLOS said.
“From running the box office to managing the seating plan for each night. Everyone did an incredible job.”
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They hoped to sit people on 20 cabaret-style tables with households mixing. However, with Tier 2 restrictions in Norfolk, they had people sit in socially-distanced households.
They even had escorts around the community centre to keep people apart and made people wear masks, all managed by theatre stewards.
Mr Blakeley said the measures introduced were well received.
“The standing ovations bear testament to the appreciation of the audiences, many of whom took to social media afterwards to shower FADLOS with praise.
“Not only for creating a safe and secure environment for those watching and performing but for the sheer quality of the production.”
With the new measures came with a cost.
A huge cut in capacity to make sure people could sit in bubbles meant ticket sales were down and a ‘substantial loss was the inevitable outcome.’
However, they were just happy to hold the show.
“The society exists because of its devotion to live theatre, and in succeeding against stiff odds in quite extraordinary circumstances to present Chicago, FADLOS hopes it has made a small contribution to helping sustain the performing arts in our area."
FADLOS is now taking a well-earned break until the summer when rehearsals begin for next December’s traditional family pantomime.