The show must go on!

THE show must go on… even when there’s a pandemic. In fact, when you come to think about it, during its 125 years, the Marine has survived two world wars, the Great Depression and six major recessions.

So when COVID-19 hit, we rose to the challenge to continue to give first class entertainment to our wonderfully supportive audience.

Stage right…Declan Duffy. Yes, with its growing reputation and popularity, the Sunday Session or as our own John Puckey nicknamed it, the ‘post roast’ music session, moved online so performers could Zoom into each other’s home for an afternoon of jamming with friends.

The first one went out on April 14 when Declan, many of whom will know from that epic outdoor performance, ‘Monmouth’, but who is also a musician and songwriter, hosted the monthly musical medley.

Since its early days in the Marine bar to when it outgrew that space and moved to the main auditorium, Declan was keen to keep the musical spirit alive and continued the open mic sessions via Zoom.

There were two more in May and June. Declan told me “the sessions are an extremely rewarding community event that I look forward to each month.

Our regulars include Andreas the German slide guitar master, Richard the harmonica and Gerry the Cajon”. When it moved online, other than a few minor internet problems, people were still eager to take part. If you want to take part in the next one, all you need to do is pre-register on the Marine Theatre Facebook page.

Declan is looking forward to when he can welcome everyone back to the Marine.

“The key missing aspect is the physical connection most of us need,” he said.

More online entertainment was our brilliant community play that premiered on YouTube. ‘Are You Going to the Marine?’ really did draw the crowds; originally scheduled to be shown at the Marine on June 3, it was made available on YouTube and with over 400 views, it is a show that will go on forever.

Another planned online event is Invisible Music on Wednesday, July 15 starting at 8pm. This experimental new musical journey from Pete Flood (Bellowhead’s arranger and composer) takes you on an immersive journey of hearing loss drawn from Platform 4 Artistic Director Catherine Church’s personal experience. Go to our website to find out more.

Our Young Technicians’ Course starts Monday, September 21. This 10 week course will provide the first step in technical training to enter the world of music and the theatre industry.

This is a subsidised programme to give all young people aged 16-25 the opportunity to gain new skills and practical experience. We have joined forces with B Sharp and the programme is limited to 10 participants. To find out more, go to our website.

Our Reopen the Marine Theatre Fund has so far raised a remarkable £5,000 thanks to the incredible generosity of our wonderful supporters.

We cannot wait to see you all again very soon when COVID-19 will be another notch in our theatrical bedpost!

Sophia Moseley
Theatre manager

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