Last Friday, 10 September, Melbourne Theatre Company Executive Director and Co-CEO Virginia Lovett announced that the world premiere of Anthony Weigh’s play Sunday, about Heide Museum of Modern Art founder Sunday Reed, scheduled to open in September, had been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID lockdown.

MTC The Southbank Theatre

This followed the announcementfrom the previous week that Virginia Gay’s new play Cyrano, adapted from Edmond Rostand’s classic Cyrano de Bergerac– which had been shut down on opening night after three previews – would not return to the stage, at least not this year.

Melbourne Theatre Company has cancelled 168 performances in 2021, and is projecting a box office loss of $6 million on top of the $13 million it lost in 2020.

Today comes news that MTC will receive $5 million from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund to support its ongoing viability. Speaking to ABC radio, Lovett said that it felt like the company had been “caught in a rip” and “had been thrown a lifeline”.

Federal Minister...