After being closed for almost 6 months as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, The Whale Theatre has announced that it will be reopening from Friday 4th September with a programme of socially distanced live shows from performers including comedian Alison Spittle, acclaimed classical guitarist Redmond O’ Toole, the Degani Trio and energetic contemporary Irish duo, Lucia & Maria. The theatre will also be participating in this year’s national Culture Night programme on Friday 18th September, with more details coming soon.
Speaking of the theatre’s reopening, owner and founder Ross McParland says “We’re thrilled to be reopening again after such a long interval and we can’t wait to see people walk through the doors on 4th September. The team have been working very hard to make sure the place is ready to welcome people again. We had said we’d be back “after the interval”, so we’ve introduced what we’re calling the “Second Act Charter”, which outlines all the Covid-19 safety measures we’re implementing and what audiences can expect when they come to a show. Things will be a bit different, but we’re all still here and raring to go!”
The Whale Theatre’s “Second Act Charter” is a succinct description of the safety measures which have been put in place and it paints a vivid picture of the amount of work that has gone on in the background while the venue was closed. The capacity has been significantly reduced to accommodate social distancing, performances will be shorter, intervals scarce, face masks mandatory and movement restricted inside the venue. The theatre is even using a high-tech electrostatic disinfectant sprayer to ensure all areas of the venue are thoroughly disinfected. The Whale Theatre’s “Second Act Charter” can be found on www.whaletheatre.ie and audiences are encouraged to read it in full before booking their tickets.
Given the uncertainty around the coming months, the Whale is cautiously announcing new shows on a month-by-month basis with a selection of rescheduled shows beyond September also on sale now. These include acclaimed contemporary Irish band Kern on 3rd October, Cork comedian Chris Kent on 15th October and Wicklow singer Luan Parle as far away as 27th February 2021. And as if that wasn’t enough, the theatre will also play host to two art appreciation courses delivered by local art historian Rosemarie Devereux. After the success of her previous course, “The Visual Story of Ireland”, Rosemarie presents a new 6-week course titled “The Story of Europe – Painting History”, alongside a repeat of her Irish course.
As with all other venues, theatres and arts centres both in Ireland and around the world, the last 6 months have been tough, with a huge level of uncertainty for the future. The next 6 months will be challenging, as audiences, performers and venue staff constantly adapt to new guidelines and restrictions to suppress the spread of Covid-19.
But as venues like the Whale Theatre emerge from their extended intervals, there is a glimmer of light at the end of this long tunnel and everyone has a role to play to nurturing this light and making sure it is not extinguished. For details of what’s coming up at the Whale Theatre, please visit www.whaletheatre.ie.