Theatre fans go 'wilde' for return of live acts
Theatre-goers in Diss were treated to a classic comedy this week as the Corn Hall helped to stage its first outdoor performance in almost six months.
Around 80 audience members brought along their own picnic blankets and folding chairs to Dot Productions’ adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest in the grounds of The Oakesmere Hotel in Rectory Road, Brome.
The event – which saw attendees sat into socially distant bubbles – was staffed by the Corn Hall, marking its first stage performance since it was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic in March.
Angela Sykes, programme manager at the Corn Hall, said that the event marked a return to normalcy for many regulars at the arts venue, which has struggled to cope with the crippling impact of the pandemic.
“We had a good turnout, which was excellent and very encouraging,” said Ms Sykes.
“It was the first actual live performance, which is difficult to do indoors.
“People were so thrilled that there is something for them to do again, and it’s bringing a bit of normality into their lives, and a chance for them to socialise.
“Oaksmere provided the venue, the touring company brought its own stage, set and costumes, and we provided the stewards and the staff, so three companies were benefiting, but also the actors, who were incredibly grateful that the touring company took a risk to go ahead with it.”
The Corn Hall has a second outdoor performance of The Handlebards’ adaptation of Romeo and Juliet scheduled to take place in Diss Park on September 19.
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