Amongst the anxiety and havoc of COVID-19, the performing arts in 2020 have been systematically clobbered. So many productions abandoned and cancelled, so much effort and commitment brought to nothing.

Adelaide independent company, Theatre Republic’s revival of The Bleeding Tree, listed as part of State Theatre’s Stateside sponsorship program, was scheduled for late August. The social distancing requirements of the pandemic put paid to that and re-setting the season, as in so many other cases, was in doubt. When the December date was decided on, the company went into rehearsal only to be abruptly halted by Adelaide’s sudden, but mercifully brief lockdown. Fortunately, the persistence of the company – director Corey McMahon, producer Manda Flett, the actors and crew – has brought this excellent work to opening night.

Annabel Matheson, Elena Carapetis and Miranda Daughtrey. Photograph © Thomas McCammon

It has been worth the wait. The Bleeding Tree, justly heralded when it first opened at Griffin Theatre in 2015 , has gathered Helpmann and Green Room awards, been re-staged by Sydney and Melbourne companies, and revived this year for separate seasons – in...