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Canberra Today 11°/15° | Saturday, September 25, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Covid forces ‘The Dismissal’ cancellation

“The Dismissal: An Extremely Serious Musical Comedy” won’t go ahead because of covid.

NEW Australian musical “The Dismissal: An Extremely Serious Musical Comedy”, due to be performed at Canberra Theatre Centre from October 9–24, has been cancelled because of covid.

Alex Budd, director of Canberra Theatre Centre, says the team had been “so excited” to be hosting the world premiere of “The Dismissal” at the Canberra Theatre, a stone’s throw from where the story was born in 1975.

“Having seen audiences return so strongly to our venues in 2021 makes these latest covid interruptions all the more heartbreaking,” he says.

“The curtain can’t come down on covid fast enough.”

A co-production between independent theatre producers Squabbalogic, Sydney Theatre Company (STC) and Canberra Theatre Centre, “The Dismissal”, described as a “razor-sharp, musical account of Australia’s constitutional crisis of 1975″, was due to begin rehearsals in Sydney later this month before opening in October at Canberra Theatre Centre, followed by a season at Sydney Opera House.

“We are devastated to be losing this exceptional production,” says STC artistic director Kip Williams.

“Staging a musical is a huge undertaking at the best of times but with the current restrictions in greater Sydney, it is a particularly difficult time to mount a brand-new Australian production. The incredibly talented team at Squabbalogic have put an immense amount of work into creating this hilarious, sharp-witted and nuanced take on Australian politics.”

“The Dismissal” was conceived, co-written and directed by Squabbalogic’s Jay James-Moody, with co-writer Blake Erickson and original music and lyrics by Laura Murphy.

“As crushing as it is for ‘The Dismissal’ to join the long line of theatrical works impacted by covid and the associated restrictions, the health and safety of our team and audience is paramount,” says James-Moody.

“I’m very grateful to everyone at Sydney Theatre Company and Canberra Theatre Centre for their passionate support of the show, and in going above and beyond to navigate these circumstances. In the meantime Squabbalogic will – as Gough Whitlam mandated in 1975 – maintain the rage and enthusiasm for ‘The Dismissal’ until ‘it’s time’.”

“Canberra Theatre Centre is committed to safely bringing performances to Canberra,” Budd says.

“We have greatly valued working with Sydney Theatre Company on three Australian works in 2021. The revival of ‘The 7 Stages of Grieving’ earlier this year brought critical acclaim, and we look forward to the upcoming season of Anchuli Felicia King’s ‘White Pearl’ in September.”

“The Dismissal” ticket holders will be contacted about refunds.

Squabbalogic, Sydney Theatre Company and Canberra Theatre Centre are encouraging theatre audiences with the means to do so to consider donating to the Actors Benevolent Fund, an organisation that supports theatre workers – a largely freelance and casual workforce – throughout NSW and ACT in times of need. 

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

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