THE SHOW must go on is the Queen song and mantra that has rewarded Ballarat Lyric Theatre with confirmation production We Will Rock You will rock on.
Tickets will be available on Tuesday morning for the high-energy musical's return in February after lockdown cut its run short after opening night at Her Majesty's Theatre.
About 6000 pre-sold tickets will first be honoured to patrons from across Ballarat, Geelong and Horsham, with more shows coming on to cater for expected demand.
We Will Rock You director Stephen Armarti said people love Queen music, cast posters had been up in windows for a while and - after the past 20 months everyone had endured - everyone deserved a good night out. He was confident his team will deliver on that.
Mr Armarti said it was even better Monday's planned re-launch followed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew's declaration restrictions would ease earlier than had been touted.
There's a big buzz about town at the moment. People are getting wind the show's coming back.Stephen Armarti, Ballarat Lyric Theatre
"We've been bumping out our stuff today, it's been sitting here dormant since the 15th of July. We're pulling it all out and getting it set for the start of January to get it all back in place," Mr Armarti said. "There's a big buzz about town at the moment. People are getting wind the show's coming back."
Lyric had stood to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the snap lockdown after one show.
Mr Armarti said state government and City of Ballarat support had made it financially possible to get back on stage but cast and crew had also remained passionately committed to a comeback.
From about 140 cast members he had only lost one for a February return.
"That's the beauty about this show. We've been able to keep in contact with the cast and we've done some script reads on Zoom to keep it fresh and we'll be able to come back and rebuild that show to show state very quickly," Mr Armarti said.
"...They've done five months of hard work to be prepared ready for the show they did a phenomenal job that [opening] night.
"That was a hard thing for them because they've done such a great job on opening night then to have to not know when we might be coming back - couple of days, couple of weeks and it turned out to be a couple of months."
Rehearsals will start in mid-December before what Mr Armarti said would be a "very quick four-week sprint" to rebuild the show. Mr Armarti said the tickets sold for July shows - with few seeking returns - offered cast a good base to build on.
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney considered himself lucky to have seen a technical rehearsal with hair, make-up and choreography. Cr Moloney said this was a great show to mark the return of live theatre in Ballarat.
"To have one show, it must've been devastating. It looked great and the place was really ready to rock," Cr Moloney said. "I think Ballarat is really ready to rock in the New Year and this is the perfect show to shake off COVID and get back to enjoying a more normal life again."
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Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said the show's return should signal 2022 as a year for optimism and a chance to support local theatre.
"This is a reward for so many people in Ballarat getting vaccinated. We Will Rock You is coming back and it's really important we support community theatre through what has been a tough time."
Her Majesty's board member and City of Ballarat councillor Samantha McIntosh said so many people knew Queen songs and, for those seeking a night out, this was also a chance to look at all the refurbishment work made on the theatre in the past year.
We Will Rock You will re-open in a gala night on February 18 and run to March 5. The musical features 24 of Queen's greatest hits.
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