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The show will go on for Globe Theatre despite an unforeseen safety issue at Darke Hall.
Globe was forced to cancel two performances last weekend (Friday and Saturday) amid its season-opening presentation of Blind Date, starring Regina’s own Tess Degenstein.
The show resumed Sunday and continues through Nov. 5 after arrangements were made to relocate to the Link — an atrium connecting Darke Hall to the Conexus Credit Union. Globe added a Saturday matinee this weekend to replace one of the cancelled performances.
According to Darke Hall manager Dawn Bergstrom, an acoustic sound panel fell last week from the ceiling of the main auditorium. Although no one was inside at the time, it prompted the facility’s immediate closure to address safety concerns.
Darke Hall’s schedule is expected to resume next week.
“It’s a temporary closure,” explained Bergstrom. “As far as we can tell it is an isolated incident but, for the sake of safety, we want to check (the panels) and make sure they are fully secure. We didn’t want to take the chance that it could happen (again).
“We anticipate we’ll be reopened in time for the (Connie Kaldor) concert on Nov. 10.”
Darke Hall, built in 1929, recently underwent a massive renovation designed to preserve and upgrade the iconic venue. It took six years and approximately $18.5 million to complete the work before a relaunch in April 2022.
Darke Hall was subsequently identified as one of Canada’s top conservation architecture projects, winning an award of merit from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.
Since it reopened, the 94-year-old venue has become a hub of activity, hosting a wide range of special events and performances.
Meanwhile, Globe Theatre is in the final stage of a multi-year renovation to its own facility. Globe has been holding performances in alternate venues until its downtown theatre is complete late next year.
In order to pivot from Darke Hall to the Link, Globe had to build a temporary stage while also adding lights and audience risers.
They went from about 450 seats to 180.
“It is so unfortunate what occurred with the Darke Hall building,” said Globe executive director Jaime Boldt. “It’s more the timing of it as I know it is a fixable issue. Thankfully, our staff have learned how to pivot over the last few years. It does take an all-hands-on-deck approach to relocating and building a new theatre space in the Darke Hall Link area. This also includes calling hundreds of patrons about the two show cancellations and reseating folks in the new smaller space in a different configuration. It asks for flexibility from our patrons as well as being asked once again to work with us to make the best of a not-ideal situation.
“Darke Hall has been very supportive throughout the process, which we have appreciated, and I hope that the space is back up and running for them in no time.”