We are moving slowly but inexorably towards the reopening of theatre venues, and what an experience that will be for us all.
Meanwhile, an unexpected upside to the lockdown has been the availability of productions online.
These can be viewed from the comfort of your sofa, or bed, and you can have access to some theatres that are a distance away, or even abroad.
It is not the same as live theatre, but in a time of barrenness for those working in the arts, it has been a lifeline.
The month of June will, on the theatre front, belong to The Everyman in Cork. If you have never crossed its threshold, I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit when possible. The intimacy of the 650-seat venue creates a fantastic atmosphere, but make sure that you go early and wallow in the beauty of this crown jewel of late Victorian architecture.
The Everyman is a not-for-profit theatre with charitable status, and it depends hugely on the support of its patrons.
While it enjoys loyal support in Munster, it is now able to reach a greater audience virtually, and this month sees a plethora of performances, all of which should attract a big audience.
While it enjoys loyal support in Munster, it is now able to reach a greater audience virtually
There are five shows during the month, and the one I am most excited about will be broadcast live on three occasions, over just two days.
Part of the Cork Midsummer Festival 2021, this is the world premiere of The Saviour, written by Deirdre Kinahan. It brings together the incredible grande dame of the Irish stage, Marie Mullen, and a scion of one of the nation’s greatest acting families, Brian Gleeson.
A decade after her award-winning play, Moment, the renowned Kinahan introduces us to the character of Máire on the morning of her 67th birthday. She is sitting up in bed enjoying a cigarette, and there is a man downstairs. She is blooming. This play charts the extraordinary shift in social, political and religious life in Ireland over the past 30 years.
The Saviour, directed by Louise Lowe, will be broadcast live on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June.
Two of the other productions that appeal greatly to me are Mary And Me (5 to 13 June) and Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse (25 to 27 June). Both of these are on demand video streams.
Mary And Me was written by and is performed by Irene Kelleher.
Four years after its premiere, this new version follows the life of Hannah, a young woman in the months before she gives birth. It covers everyday happenings in her life; her maths tests, art projects and relationships with boys and family.
She shares these events with the statue of Mary and in the company of Mary Magdalene in the local village grotto.
While the two productions mentioned involve just one or two actors, there is a star-studded full cast for Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse.
Brought to life by the great Marina Carr, and directed by Annabelle Comyn, the play opens with the Ramsay family enjoying carefree days with friends by the sea.
Children play, Lily paints a picture and six-year-old James wants to sail to the lighthouse.
However, what appears tranquil on the surface masks deep currents of longing and frustration which the characters struggle to contain.
When the promise of a trip to the lighthouse is cancelled, tensions rupture violently and fling these lives into turmoil and change.
Tickets for performances range from €15 to €40 and more information is available on everymancork.com