Live performance back at Montreal after one year

Montreal volunteers outside the theatre ready for the Taste of Ireland show.

Montreal Theatre was bustling on Monday night, with audiences lining up to see the Taste of Ireland performance – the first live performance held at the local theatre in over 12 months.

Taste of Ireland is an Irish music and dance sensation currently touring Australia, visiting over 90 cities and towns.

The performance featured a company of over 20 with some of the world’s leading Irish dancers and musicians, including stars from well-known shows Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

Theatre goers were dressed up in their best clothes and excited to see a return of live theatre, after the Covid-19 pandemic made that impossible for most of last year.

Many locals from across the region were in attendance, as well as tourists who were visiting for the Easter long weekend, including Marion and Colin Tate, and Noel and Judy Powell, who were visiting from Queensland.

Montreal Theatre secretary Joy Beruter was one of many volunteers manning the theatre on Monday night, and when asked how she felt about the return of live theatre, she threw her hands in the air and said “Yes!”

“It’s great to welcome people back to the theatre,” she said.

“We’ve been closed basically all of last year because of Covid-19 and this is out first one, our first big one back.

“We’ve had movies coming through and we’ve had a few people, but I know a few people are still being a little bit dubious of coming out.”

Mrs Beruter said that ticket sales had been going “very well” in the lead up to the performance.

“A lot of people are wanting to buy tickets even tonight, we’ve been fielding a lot of phone calls,” she said on Monday.

A Taste of Ireland previously visited and performed in Tumut in 2019, and when they embarked on this year’s tour, they reached out to the Montreal requesting to perform here again.

“They have been here before but it’s a completely new show,” Mrs Beruter said.

“It’s going to be lovely to have a lot of youngsters on the stage.

“They just love it, that’s why they do it; they really do enjoy their work, and to them it’s not work – it’s also a pleasure.”

Mrs Beruter said the cast and crew were only in town for one night, heading off to Bega the following day and doing a show every night for the following nine days after that.

All the volunteers at the Montreal hope to see the community continuing to support the theatre, especially with the return of the cinema.

“It’s a community theatre and hopefully the community will keep supporting it, because it’s their theatre – not mine, not yours, it’s ours.”