RNZB cancels all performances of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' except in Wellington

A Midsummer Night's Dream was due to be performed by the RNZB from late October through December.
STEPHEN A'COURT
A Midsummer Night's Dream was due to be performed by the RNZB from late October through December.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has cancelled most of its upcoming performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But changes to Wellington’s Opera House have saved shows in the capital, which will go ahead from October 28 with reduced audiences.

In a statement, the company said changes to the venue’s auditorium would allow the RNZB to perform to socially-distanced audiences within the Government’s restrictions.

They include the removal of entire rows of seats, strictly-limited numbers and seating in household groups, distance between audience members, mask wearing, reduced interval time, no bar service, and opening up of entrances and exits.

The company has cancelled all its shows except in Wellington.
STEPHEN A'COURT/Supplied
The company has cancelled all its shows except in Wellington.

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While the capacity had been reduced by 80 per cent overall, extra shows meant everyone who had bought a ticket so far would be able to come. Additional ticket buyers would go on a wait list.

“For our dancers, performing to an audience is everything – it is what drives their passion and what their dreams are built on. We are deeply disappointed we will not be touring this beautiful production across the nation as planned,” said RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker.

The requirement to reduce theatre capacities in order to maintain social distancing meant it was not viable for the RNZB to perform outside Wellington.

It also meant Wellington performances would not be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as planned.

It also means that Wellington performances will not be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
STEPHEN A'COURT/Supplied
It also means that Wellington performances will not be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Instead, the original recording of the NZSO performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, made when it premiered in 2015, would be used.

“There are plans to film and broadcast the production before Christmas so those who have missed out will get a chance in the near future to enjoy the magical show from the comfort of their own living room,” RNZB executive director Lester McGrath said.

Ticket holders for the Wellington season would be contacted to rebook their tickets or get a refund. Ticket holders for other centres will be contacted to arrange a refund.

The following performances have been cancelled: Municipal Theatre, Napier Nov 5-6; Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North, Nov 11; Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, Nov 18-20; Civic Theatre, Invercargill, Nov 24; Regent Theatre, Dunedin, Nov 27; Aotea Centre, Auckland, Dec 2-5; Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Dec 10-11.