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Inverness group The Florians take the drama online live

By Margaret Chrystall

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INVERNESS drama group The Florians will stage a live virtual performance online in October featuring some Shakespeare ‘celebrities’ and you can now book free tickets, details below.

Set in a psychiatrist’s office and hairdressers, the short plays – including Mirror, Mirror – star Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet plus fairytale princess Cinderella and her stepmother.

The plays – lasting 50 minutes – by Bruce Kane will be directed by Fiona Grant and will be live online from Wednesday to Friday, October 7-9 at 7.30pm.

It’s new territory for The Florians, but the group wanted to do something to keep its members and regular audience going until their next live performance which they hope will be next June with The Steamie.

The Florians in one if their popular live shows. Picture: Gair Fraser
The Florians in one if their popular live shows. Picture: Gair Fraser

The group’s new president Alan Holling said that he had wanted to have the performances for the mental health of the members and the enjoyment of the audience who have been unable to work on productions in lockdown since Covid-19 arrived.

“People have been locked away, not only physically but mentally, so the plays are an outlet for basically as many creative people as we can provide an outlet for. We’ve all had enjoyable experiences on stage over the years and hope that the audiences have as well and it’s trying to keep that going to give an enjoyable experience to other people in that trapped situation. So for as long as this lasts, we will keep on going on. For the virtual plays, we were looking for things that would mean we could use as many members as possible, but not too many to make directing them difficult. Bruce Kane’s plays have three to five cast in each which we felt was better when we are handling a new medium!”

For The Florians, who normally break even on their regular productions, lack of panto funds will impact this year.

The president said: “Our biggest earner is the pantomime season, the other plays usually run even, they don’t make big profits or losses, but they pay for themselves.

“The surplus is usually on the panto and that will not take place this year, so there is a significant loss there.

“Fortunately we had government grants to help us which was very welcome and we are looking at reopening the theatre next year, but we have to be very cautious about that. We are looking at improving the ventilation in the theatre because of the situation and there is going to be expense involved in that – we still have to go into that process. Although in theory we can open on September 14, the restrictions are such that it would be a very small audience and a very small cast! So we’ll have to work our way very gradually back to reopening.

“But my concern is keeping the club going as a club – and performances, as we can.”

An Evening Of One Act Plays: In The Therapist’s Chair by Bruce Kane, Wednesday and Thursday, October 7-8 at 7.30pm and in lieu of a matinee, on Friday, October 9 at 6pm. Tickets for this production are free and are available for the performances: October 7, 7.30pm; October 8, 7.30pm; October 9 6pm. Email: florians.tickets@gmail.com

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