In light of the current COVID-19 situation and in the interest of the health and safety of our audiences, artists and the broader community, Melbourne Theatre Company has today announced the cancellation of all remaining performances of Torch the Place and Emerald City, effective from Monday 16 March. This decision comes in light of heightened Government restrictions on non-essential mass gatherings of 500 people or more.
In making the announcement, MTC Artistic Director & CEO Brett Sheehy and MTC Executive Director & Co-CEO Virginia Lovett said the cancellations are the most responsible course of action in the interest of public health at this time.
‘Cancelling performances is not an easy decision, nor is it easy news to break.
‘Hours of hard work and dedication go into every one of our productions and provide jobs for hundreds of creative professionals who rely on MTC to make a living. This unprecedented situation will drastically impact our industry and we are concerned for all those who are most affected, especially artists, creatives and of course our staff.
‘However, the next few weeks are critical in slowing the transmission of COVID-19 and we feel that taking this proactive measure is the most responsible thing to do for our community and the greater good.
‘We have both worked in this industry for 30 years. Never in our careers have we seen anything like this, nor has the sector needed support more than now. We have asked ticketholders for the cancelled performances to consider exchanging their tickets to another show or offering them as a donation to the Company.'
Torch the Place was due to close on Monday 23 March, while Emerald City was scheduled to run until Saturday 18 April. Any decision about future productions in MTC’s 2020 Season will be made pending developments in the COVID-19 situation.
The Southbank Theatre and MTC HQ buildings will remain open with staff working both on-site and remotely.