MKA has announced the cancellation of all live productions at their pop-up theatre MKA’s Fitzroy Gardens Pavilion. The venue – the shell of a former wedding reception venue in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens – was set to host a three-month program- presented by Melbourne’s indie theatre renegades MKA.

The company had managed to present just one art exhibition – ALLDIE Supermarket by Caragh Brooks, but due the public health, creative, and economic pressures of the current Omicron wave of the COVID pandemic have been forced to make the difficult decision to cancel the remaining nine works set to be presented at the venue.

MKA’s pop-up venue was to present work near wall-to-wall throughout January, February, and March: a variety of live works spanning theatre, dance, live art, and immersive installations; as scores of artists came together to celebrate the reopening of the city.

MKA was originally due to present the season from October to December last year but this too was postponed due to the pandemic. Past months have seen consistent shutdowns of rehearsals through cast and crew Covid cases and close-contact scenarios, already making an impact on the creative preparations of various productions, and ultimately the health, artistic, and financial risks of the Omicron wave of the covid pandemic have proved too much for the company.

The cancellations and closure of the venue to the public means three months of actors, creatives, crews, production, front of house and back of house staff without their expected work – and from an independent sector that often struggles to break even – not able to do the thing that we value most- sharing their art with the community.

As well as the featured works in the program, MKA’s FITZROY GARDENS PAVILION was to be supporting the development of a number of new works through lightning artist residencies, new work showings, workshops, and play readings. Artists participating include: The People, Doppelgangster, David Woods, Unofficial Kerith Fan Club, Chelsea Hickman, and others. Health limitations permitting a selection of these developments will continue to go ahead behind closed doors; and some of the cancelled production teams will also have the opportunity to use the space for development of new work where possible.

Information on the full program and cancellations for MKA’s FITZROY GARDENS PAVILION can be found at mka.org.au/pavilion

Image Shan Song

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