Show will go on for troubled musical after RAAC found in concert hall

Oklahoma! was shelved for the second time in three years after crumbling concrete was found at Motherwell Concert Hall.

Troubled performance of Oklahoma set to go ahead after Motherwell Concert Hall closure due to RAAC STV News

The show will go on for performers who were left in limbo after Motherwell Concert Hall was suddenly closed after potentially weak concrete, known as RAAC, was found in the building’s roof.

Last month, Airdrie and Coatbridge Amateur Operatic Society (ACAOS) were taking part in their final dress rehearsal at the venue for their long-awaited production of Oklahoma! when the venue was forced to close.

It meant that the production was shelved for the second time in three years, after being initially cancelled in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Just one day from opening night, the group was informed by surveyors that potentially dangerous concrete had been found in the building, along with some evidence of water ingress in the roof.

Dozens of productions were shut down with immediate effect.

Club president Laura Johnston said: “It didn’t seem real, for the same thing to happen at the exact same point of the dress rehearsal night as it did in 2020 was unfathomable. I knew I had to deliver the worst possible news to the club; it was gut-wrenching, but it had to be done. 

“ACAOS sends its very best wishes to all clubs affected, we know all too well the turmoil they are experiencing, and we hope to see the Lanarkshire amateur dramatics scene collectively rise back up together.”

While Motherwell Concert Hall remains closed until further notice, ACAOS have secured a venue to put Oklahoma! on the stage for one night only at The Town House in Hamilton on Friday October 13.

Laura added: “ACAOS prides itself on not only being a fantastically talented local theatre group, but also a family. Being able to go back to the members and tell them that they would in fact have the opportunity to show off all of their hard work, and hear the rapturous applause of the audience, was amazing. 

“We’re indebted to each other: the moral support and efforts that have gone on behind-the-scenes to make this single performance possible is nothing short of incredible. I’m extremely proud of us all.”

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