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Test live performances of music and theatre to take place in Dublin venues starting next week

The Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce recommended that cultural venues be reassessed under the government’s five-level plan.

National Concert Hall in Dublin city
National Concert Hall in Dublin city
Image: Shutterstock/Tomasz Wozniak

A NUMBER OF test live performances will take place over the coming weeks, according to Tourism and Culture Minister Catherine Martin.

A performance by the Irish Chamber Orchestra will take place in the National Concert Hall (NCH) on 19 December, with the Abbey Theatre hosting a limited run of Landmark Productions and Octopus Theatricals’ “Theatre for One” from 18 December.

Recently, the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce recommended that arts and cultural venues be reassessed under the government’s five-level plan, due to them having large areas with ample circulation for facilitating customers under public health guidelines.

Minister Martin said that through the reopening of theatres and galleries in recent days, arts and culture can still be enjoyed while observing the necessary public health measures.

“I am acutely aware of the great importance of drama and music in all of our lives and these events are an important step in showing that these are controlled spaces which can operate safely at this time,” said Minister Martin.

Maura McGrath, Chairperson of the NCH and Simon Taylor, CEO of the NCH both welcomed the developments, saying that they both see it as an important step forward for the arts industry.

“Bringing audiences back to live music and theatre will play such an important part for the arts and culture sector returning and we are delighted to be running this test concert with the Irish Chamber Orchestra on Saturday 19 December,” said McGrath and Taylor.

Directors at the Abbey Theatre Graham McLaren and Neil Murray have also welcomed the news, saying that it is a message of hope moving into 2021 for people involved in theatre across Ireland.

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“All restrictions will be adhered to and strict COVID-19 protocols, bespoke to these projects, will be in place to ensure the safety of our artists, audiences and staff. Reopening is a journey, one that will be travelled slowly and safely,” said McLaren and Murray. 

According to Minister Martin, 2020 has been a difficult year for people who rely on live performance for their income, as well as those who enjoy live performances.

“These events will help to demonstrate the capacity of the sector to take creative and responsible approaches to the challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Minister Martin.

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