When the Queensland Performing Arts Centre announced last November that it was staging Shrek the Musical in January, the show was to have been the first major musical to open in Australia to a 100 percent capacity audience, without a special exemption required, since COVID-19 closed venues in March 2020. ( Pippin and Frozen , the first two major musicals to open in Australia after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, have had a special exemption to play to 75 percent capacity in Sydney).

Shrek the Musical. Photograph © Brian Geach

Shrekwas to have opened in Brisbane on Sunday 10 January after two previews the day before, but all the performances at QPAC had to be cancelled that weekend due to the three-day lockdown announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on 8 January.

In good news, there were zero cases of community transmission during the three-day lockdown and so the Centre has reopened, with Shrek the Musicaldue to play from 14 January. However, the seating capacity will be reduced from 100 percent to 50 percent at least for the first...