The show must go on

Reese Dart and her father Michael singing together in the first week of BURP.

By Angela Norval

Less than a week out from the opening night for Mamma Mia, Covid-19 forced Bundaberg Players Incorporated to postpone the show.

Although knowing it was the right thing to do, it was heart breaking for the case, crew, subscribers and ticketholders.

But as the old saying goes, the show must go on and this talented group proved why the name Bundaberg Players Incorporated has been on everyone’s lips locally when it comes to talent for 62 years.

Since their early devastation, work has continued behind the scenes, but it was the introduction of Bundaberg’s Unique Relaxed Performances (BURP) that truly brought the performance back to the group, something which Bundaberg Playhouse artistic director Rebecca Hutchins said was their lifeblood.

“BURP came about because some of our members had written plays and we decided to showcase them as well as our wonderful acting and singing talent,” she said.

“It means the world to us to be able to reach our audiences again because we live to perform and to have this new avenue to do it has been a lifesaver.

“BURP involves ‘script in hand’ plays as each play had only three rehearsals and each night also has a mixture of plays, skits, other comedy segments and some wonderful singing.”

These performances are livestreamed from the Bundaberg Players Facebook page, allowing audiences to enjoy live theatre in the comfort of their own home.

While there were a limited number of subscribers in the audience, for this talented group, the main emphasis was on live streaming.

“This was completely new for us and I’m so proud of how our members learnt new skills and embraced this new technology,” Ms Hutchins said.

“We were delighted with the response and we even had people watching from around the world, many engaging on Facebook asking questions and leaving encouraging comments.

“Our audiences embraced it as much as we did and we also gave people the opportunity to donate via PayPal and have been humbled by people’s generosity.”

The BURP fun isn’t over as there are three more performances on 23 October, 27 November and a special Christmas edition on Christmas Eve, 24 December.

The Bundaberg Players are also very excited to be performing Midsummer’s Night Dream at RiverFeast on 4, 5 and 6 December.

They felt it was important to perform a production before the end of the year and as it was not possible to stage it at the Playhouse, they were transforming RiverFeast, East Bundaberg, into a Shakespearian woodland glade.

Ticketing processes will be announced in coming weeks and the theatre will continue to post the latest information at www.theplayhousetheatre.org.au.