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To be or not to be?

August 31 2020 by Scott Stevens

To be or not to be?

A question Shakespeare’s Hamlet asked himself and one Remarkable Theatre found themselves asking - should they proceed ahead under the current covid alert levels with COSI, their major show for 2020?

After many zoom meetings, soul searching and trying to plan through the unknown the Remarkable Theatre volunteer committee decided the show must go on (yes had to put another theatre cliché in there). COSI by Louis Nowra will be performed in Arrowtown 10-19th September.

Theatre is a great catalyst for forming and assisting the community. With a cast of 23 and a hardworking crew of over 30 people the play offers not only a medium to focus on but also a support network and a sense of family.

The Remarkable Theatre committee felt the themes and messages throughout COSI were appropriate and poignant for the current times. COSI is set in Australia in 1971. The world is going through social upheaval with protests over the Vietnam war. Meanwhile, inside a Melbourne psychiatric facility, a cast of patients are preparing a performance of Mozart’s famous comic opera, Cosi Fan Tutte. This hilarious and moving play is filled with delightful and outrageous characters each battling their own demons. The play has a strong message about mental health and the transformative power of music and performance.

Some of the cast and crew have found themselves out of work. Although not alone, redundancy can have a detrimental effect on anyone’s psyche. Thank you to all those in the community lending support to Queenstown citizens, old and new. A ‘change in lifestyle’ can make you reassess your identity and your goals. The characters in COSI each have a struggle they are coming to terms with. As in real life a project is helping them find themselves. The project in the case of COSI just happens to be an operatic performance in a burnout building. Can the cast rise from the ashes? No matter where you are in life music and laughter can be cathartic. One of the driving forces behind Remarkable Theatre putting on a show in the midst of extensive event cancellations is we wanted something the community can look forward to and come together, to view and be part of. Have a laugh on us and see some very talented locals.

During lockdown the arts provided us with entertainment and activities. Whether it was a puzzle, a great book or your favourite classic movie, the arts keep people going through the darkest days. Remarkable Theatre wanted to give the community great entertainment to transport them on a journey full of laughter and escapism. COSI reminds us that whatever problems we may have that with community, connection and love we can achieve amazing things. Through COSI Remarkable Theatre is also lending support to the Mental Health Foundation. The aim is to raise $1000 through donations. For a great night out (or matinee) and to lend your support to the arts, head to Event Finder for tickets. Who knows, the arts might just be Queenstown’s next gold rush.

Melanie Grindell
Committee Member
Remarkable Theatre

- Scott Stevens
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