A HARD decision had to be taken by Stirling and Bridge of Allan Operatic Society to cancel their production of Annie due to coronavirus.

The show was due to go on stage in March this year, but already have been postponed due to lockdown, first to September then to March 2021.

Unfortunately, current restrictions, and uncertainty over the future, mean the society took the decision to cancel the show.

Ticket holders will receive a refund from the MacRobert, where it was due to go ahead.

Carolyn Johnston, president of the society, said: “We have been closely monitoring the situation with Covid-19, and after much consideration, we have made the sad but unavoidable decision to cancel our production of Annie.

"The show must go on is a motto that has served our society well for over 100 years, but with continued uncertainty about when theatres will be able to reopen our hands are tied.

"We had very much hoped to be able to return to rehearsals in the autumn, but with ongoing restrictions on large gatherings and singing in groups this will not be possible.

“Unfortunately a production on this scale, with a cast and crew of over 100 people, is not likely to be permitted for quite some time.”

Social distancing guidelines for audiences also mean that even if the production could be put on stage, the society would not be able to cover the costs.

Carolyn said: “As a small, volunteer run society do not have the financial resources to absorb this loss.

"We would like to reassure everyone who has purchased a ticket for the show that they will receive a full refund from the MacRobert and thank you for your understanding.

“This decision is not one that we take lightly and we know that it will come as a huge disappointment to you as it is for our cast, who were so close to performing the show when lockdown began in March.”

Moving forward, the society will continue to explore other ways to bring theatre back when permitted.

Carolyn added: “Our sympathies lie with the families of those who have lost their lives to this dreadful virus and with those who are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

“We hope to be able to bring the love, light and laughter of theatre back into your lives soon."