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Korean musical theatre triumphs despite Covid-19

Productions of popular musicals including Rebecca and Phantom of the Opera have recorded attendance of over 90% in South Korea, despite the impact of coronavirus

By Anna Grace on 18 Mar 2020

Korean musical theatre triumphs despite Covid-19

OD Company's Dracula: The Musical


image © 오디컴퍼니 / OD Company

Several musical theatre productions in Seoul, South Korea, have reported near-full attendance rates for the past few months, reports the Korea Herald.

Productions of shows including Rebecca, Dracula:The Musical and Phantom of the Opera have enjoyed successful runs, even during the height of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country, which caused the cancellation and postponement of many concerts and festivals.

The international touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, produced by the Really Useful Group, began its run in Seoul’s Blue Square Interpark on Saturday (14 March), after wrapping up a two-month run in Busan.

Posting on social media after the “first weekend of packed houses in Seoul”, Australian soprano Claire Lyon wrote: “Thank you in advance to our audience members who continue to support us and for being so diligent in wearing masks and washing hands at the theatre.”

“Thank you in advance to our audience members who continue to support us and for being so diligent in wearing masks and washing hands at the theatre.”

“We feel confident that life will continue to go back to normal over here in the coming weeks (it already seems to be!). Sending love to those around the world whose livelihoods or health has been affected. These are uncertain times but we are soldiering on.”

The number of new cases of the virus reported in Korea has dropped greatly in the past few weeks. However, even at the peak of the epidemic in January and February, theatregoers appeared undeterred.

According to EMK Musical Company, an average of 92% of 1,255 available seats were occupied for the whole season of Rebecca, which ran from November to February at Seoul’s Chungmu Art Centre.

The show is embarking on a nationwide tour on 27 March, visiting 12 cities throughout the country.

Dracula: The Musical, which is produced by OD Company, began its run on 11 February at Seoul’s Charlotte Theatre, recording an average admission rate of 95%. The show is set to continue until 7 June.

Earlier this week, almost 300 theatres in the UK temporarily closed their doors following government advice to “avoid” visiting them. Theatres on New York’s Broadway shut down the week before.

 


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