Coronavirus and the lockdown put paid to the Ringwood Musical & Dramatic Society production of Barnum, which would have been staged in April. Disappointed RMDS cast members, who’d been rehearsing since October last year, were told of the decision to call off the show when it became obvious that strict social distancing measures were about to be put in place in March. But in true ‘the show must go on’ spirit, and so the cast will still get the chance to show off their new-found circus skills, Barnum has been rescheduled for Easter 2021 at the Ringwood School Theatre.
In the meantime the popular RMDS summer shows, which traditionally take place at Greyfriars at the end of July and showcase the town’s young talent, have been cancelled for this year, and last week the decision was made to also call off the society’s autumn play and the late autumn Ringwood Soirée because of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. A decision has yet to be made on whether the traditional Christmas choir concerts will be able to take place, usually at Ellingham, Trinity and Ringwood parish churches..
If that too is cancelled – because social distancing makes rehearsing very difficult and large gatherings of audiences may still not be allowed – this year will be the first time since World War II that RMDS, which was founded way back in 1911, has not been able to stage a single performance.