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Love is in the air . . . Jamie Cowie and Aljay Rankin perform It Must Be Love with the company. PHOTO: BRENDA MEULI/@OAMARU CAPUTRED

Musical Theatre Oamaru is making plans to stage Love After Lockdown again this year.

All 400 tickets to the theatre restaurant production were snapped up within two weeks of the show being advertised to the general public – and last week’s four performances received rave reviews.

After closing night on Saturday, the committee decided to bring it back later in the year – and the 24 members all said they were “dead keen” to be involved again, Musical Theatre Oamaru president Melissa Yockney said

“We’re excited to be able to bring it back again for everybody who did miss out,” Miss Yockney said.

Love After Lockdown, written by Miss Yockney and Krissy and John McGeown, introduces loved-up couple Rose and Tom on the eve of 2020’s first lockdown. The initial excitement of spending four weeks together, accompanied by their flatmates, does not last long and, after a break-up, the two characters, played by Jamie Cowie and Aljay Rankin, start to navigate the entertaining world of online and blind dating.

Throughout the show, there are press conferences held by Dr Ashley Bloomfield, played by Dr Jon Scott, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, played by Alice Gibson, and the on-stage band, Ashley’s Angels, plays a variety of well-known songs.

The idea for the show came to Miss Yockney during lockdown.

“One of the scenes at the end was something that had just been brewing in my head.”

She mentioned her ideas during a committee meeting, and got together with Mr and Mrs McGeown later in the year to start making a show out of it.

“We just came together with different ideas for all of these random characters.

“It kind of just grew from there.”

There was good interest in auditions – the show attracting several new performers – and the “enthusiastic and fun” cast started rehearsals in March.

Miss Yockney said it was a “proud mother moment” seeing the show come to life.

“Watching all of the characters grow from where they began, what they were on paper, to where they’ve ended up on stage has just been really cool.”

Dr Scott, as Dr Bloomfield, was a crowd favourite every night.

“The laughter and the claps of applause that come out when Dr Jon first arrives on stage as Dr Ashley – night after night.”

Love After Lockdown was the first production Musical Theatre Oamaru had staged since Mamma Mia! in 2018, and other musical theatre societies had already expressed an interest in staging it themselves.

“So we need to work out where we go from here with that concept.”

But in the meantime, Musical Theatre Oamaru’s attention would turn to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Junior, its children’s theatre production, being staged in the July school holidays

Information on the new season of Love After Lockdown, including dates and ticket sales, will be sent out to Musical Theatre Oamaru’s email database and posted to the society’s Facebook page.