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Virtual Performances helping the community with lockdown fatigue

Halloween Week
SLAMS Theatre Company performers
SLAMS Theatre Company performers

From spooky Halloween stories to live bands playing tunes at full blast, performers from Knox have lifted lockdown spirits at online events, providing entertainment for the community.

Council’s Live in your Loungeroom events provide the opportunity for local artists to perform their music online, while the Halloween stories series aired virtually on Halloween and allowed three local theatre companies to perform stories over a 10-minute video.

David Woods, President of community theatre company SLAMS, helped organise both online events and said it helped keep the community entertained while giving back to the struggling theatre industry.

“Live in your Lounge room and Halloween let the theatre industry continue on while also keeping theatre alive for our performers and patrons,” David said.

SLAMS was hit hard by the initial Melbourne lockdown in March, postponing its production of We Will Rock You only a few days before opening night, which fell on the day COVID-19 restrictions came into effect.

“We were in the theatre and everything was ready to go. But in that final dress rehearsal we were told it was going to be cancelled. It was pretty heartbreaking,” David said.

After several postponements and a lasting hope that lockdown would soon come to an end in Melbourne, in September SLAMS made the tough decision to officially cancel the show.

Now, a COVID-friendly production is on the agenda to be performed next year.

“We’ve chosen a different show with a smaller cast, which also allows us to rehearse independently,” David said.

“We've tried to choose a show that gives us flexibility without us needing to cancel it again. It’s lower -cost and has fewer set requirements as well.”

David said both Live in your Lounge room and Halloween provided extra exposure through Council’s online platforms, which has helped support the industry and been attractive to many local performers.

“We’ve been inundated with requests from people wanting to be involved with the next Live in your Lounge room.

“We’ve struck a chord and it’s definitely been really positive,” David said.

Live in your Lounge room performer Marten Visser said the event was an opportunity to perform in a world where no live music is currently happening.

“Music has an incredible impact on people and provides some entertainment while we’re at home,” Martin said.

Marten, who has had to cancel most of his booked performances, played to more than 1,600 people, through Live in your Lounge room.

“One of the driving motivations of musicians is the ability to connect with people through music; this is why I chose a wide range of music from Justin Bieber to Van Morrison,” Marten said.

“I tried to present a wide range to styles and genres to cater for the wide range of audience members of Live in your Loungeroom”.

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