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Musicals, theatrical plays resume on softened social distancing

(Stagetalk)
(Stagetalk)

Some blockbuster musicals and theatrical plays, which have been on hold for weeks due to the novel coronavirus epidemic, have resumed onstage performances as social distancing guidelines were eased in South Korea.

The musical "The Phantom of the Opera," which has been suspended since April 1 as two of its cast members were confirmed with COVID-19, will reopen its Seoul run from Thursday at Blue Square Interpark Hall in central Seoul.

"We've checked health conditions of our actors and staff and completed inspection on the whole production process," said Clip Service, the local managing company of the musical. "The show will kick off again on April 23."

The company noted that all cast and crew members have completed 14-day self-quarantine and tested negative.

The musical "Dracula" has already started its run from Tuesday at Charlotte Theatre in eastern Seoul following a 20-day suspension as part of precautions against the coronavirus outbreak.

It had attracted a number of theatergoers since its run in February thanks to Kim Jun-su, a former member of K-pop boy band TVXQ who took the lead role in the show.

The state-run Seoul Arts Center staged the play "Black and White Tea Room - Counsellor" from Wednesday at its Jayu Theater. It is the first original work presented by Seoul Arts Center since Feb. 23, when the South Korean government raised the virus alert to the highest level and asked the public to refrain from public activities.

The center will also stage a kid's opera, "Pupu Island," on Children's Day, May 5.

Daehangno, known as a Korean hub of performing arts and youth culture, is also set to buzz with fans of performing arts.

The Korean version of the play "Lungs," written by English playwright Duncan Macmillan, will premiere on May 9 at Artone Theater in Daehangno, central Seoul.

The original Korean musical "Swag Age: Shout Out, Joseon!" has been running since last week at Hongik Daehangno Art Center.

The move came as the South Korean government has partially eased social distancing rules, conditionally allowing churches, bars, gyms and cram schools to resume operations earlier this week.

The country's new daily confirmed coronavirus cases have remained around 10 for the past few days. (Yonhap)
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