SHOWS at the Lochgelly Centre have been postponed again but the downtime will allow for upgrades to take place.

OnFife said the potential for continuing social distancing restrictions for indoor events led them to "reluctantly" postpone the return of shows to its four theatres, including Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline.

And in a further blow, the impact of Covid-19 on the renovation works under way at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy means the much-anticipated break for panto this Christmas will no longer be possible, either.

“It’s sad to have to be making these decisions again and we share the disappointment of all our customers who had hoped to be back enjoying the fantastic buzz and excitement of live in-person theatre experiences with us again,” said Michelle Sweeney, OnFife’s Director of Creative Development.

“But with an update on whether social distancing constraints will be lifted – which is such an important factor for theatres – not due until August, and so much uncertainty in the interim, we needed to bring clarity on the way forward for theatre promoters, local amateur associations, our communities and our own team members.

“Public health is at the forefront of our thinking as our number one commitment is keeping people safe. Likewise is our commitment to providing a quality theatre experience. We are providing a wide range of services online and through our museums and libraries, which we are delighted to have been able to open again. But while social distancing remains in some form, a quality theatre programme is not feasible either financially or in terms of a great experience, which revolves around a bustling theatre environment.”

The continuing closures at Lochgelly Centre, Carnegie Hall and Rothes Hall in Glenrothes will allow theatre upgrades to be carried out on lighting and rigging.

“Investing in this now means we won’t need to close the theatres to carry out this work in the coming years,” Michelle said.

This will mean no programme return before December in either Rothes Halls or Carnegie Hall, while Lochgelly Centre will hopefully be up and running again from October.

“In line with our commitment to support a local return to theatre, we will be offering Lochgelly, which is a great venue, to amateur associations to support them getting their shows back on,” Ms Sweeney said.

Looking further ahead, OnFife is once again "determined not to let Covid steal Christmas", they say.

An outdoor/indoor Christmas show is being developed for Carnegie Hall and the charity is also taking the seasonal celebrations on the road with a travelling Christmas theatre experience across Fife’s communities.

It also wants to work with Fife Council, other cultural enterprises and communities in a collaborative ‘Fife Christmas’, similar in approach to the current GoFife Summer Programme.