A POPULAR drama group has scrapped plans for spring and summer productions due to uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic.

Johnstone Phoenix Theatre Group (JPTG) entertained audiences last month with two performances of a festive show called A Not So Silent Night.

Staged over consecutive evenings at the old Johnstone Baptist Church, in Walkinshaw Street, it was their first public performance since Alice in Pantoland in December 2019.

Lockdown restrictions in 2020 meant productions of Ghost and Jack and the Beanstalk were both cancelled.

Members would normally meet up again at the end of January or start of February to look ahead to the group’s spring and summer productions.

However, Johnstone Town Hall – which JPTG had used for many years – is still being deployed as a Covid vaccination centre and the hall where the recent festive shows took place is not suitable for larger-scale productions.

Now the JPTG committee has decided the best option is to focus on bringing the community some Christmas cheer later this year by returning with a panto.

In the meantime, it is hoped members will be able to take part in other activities such as drama workshops.

Anne Marie Murdoch, JPTG committee member, told The Gazette: “Johnstone Town Hall remains out of commission due to being used as a Covid vaccine centre for the foreseeable future.

“This left the committee with the difficult decision to postpone these shows and instead focus on being able to deliver a 2022 panto for the people of Johnstone.”

Anne Marie also thanked those who went along to the recent festive performances.

“Those who attended were treated to a fun-filled evening,” she said. “The audience was a mix of children and adults, who all enjoyed the shows as a lovely pre-Christmas treat.

“Not only was this a treat for the audience but it was a fun-filled time for the performers, who were thrilled to be back rehearsing and performing and giving something back to the Johnstone community.”