MTC’s Cyrano cancelled due to extended Victorian lockdown

MTC-Cyrano-Virginia-GayMelbourne Theatre Company’s production of Cyrano will not return to the stage in 2021 as a result of Victoria’s sixth lockdown extending.

“2021 is another devastating year for the Company. Every show has been severely impacted by lockdowns and restrictions – and now Cyrano cancelled,” said MTC Co-CEO Virginia Lovett.

“The set is built and sitting empty at Southbank Theatre and the cast and crew have created a wonderful piece of theatre, so we are working to reschedule the production and give it a future life.”

“Despite reduced capacities, MTC has endeavoured to return to stage after each lockdown to provide employment to our artists, creatives and our staff. However, the financial impacts are putting considerable strain on the Company, with the majority of our pre-production costs already sunk and irretrievable.”

“To date, MTC has been ineligible for most of the Victorian government business disruption grants. Without the ability to meaningfully continue a key facet of our business – rehearsals to prepare for upcoming shows and our return to stage – the prolonged lockdown is putting the rest of the year at serious risk.”

“With no clear indication of when theatres may be able to reopen as the state reaches vaccination targets it is once again extremely difficult to plan. We look forward to an arts industry roadmap to ensure we can prepare to reopen safely, rebuild audience confidence, help the city to recover and provide future employment to our artists,” said Ms Lovett.

After overcoming rehearsal disruptions during Victoria’s fifth lockdown in July, the Cyrano team worked against the odds to have the show ready for its opening on Thursday 5 August. Three hours before its opening night performance, a sixth lockdown was announced for the state of Victoria.

Cyrano had three preview performances, performing to 100 audience members – 18% of the venue capacity – as mandated by government restrictions, before Victoria’s lockdown forced the show offstage and subsequently the cancellation of the season.

Requests to government for broadcast exemptions to film the production for MTC Digital Theatre were unsuccessful. Consequently the production will not be available digitally.

The cancellation of Cyrano follows the cancellation of Jacky – an MTC production that was due to premiere in October but could not proceed due to COVID border closures preventing members of the cast entering Victoria. Cyrano was due to play 2 August to 8 September at Southbank Theatre.

MTC’s 2021 season has been continually impacted by recurring lockdowns and border closures. They have led to the cancellation of 140 MTC performances this year, equating to hundreds of thousands of cancelled tickets and millions of dollars in lost revenue. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Virginia Gay in Cyrano – photo by Jo Duck | illustration by Mark Conlan