SHUT up shop completely or try to carry on regardless were among the choices for theatre and other arts and entertainment venues this week followed Monday's government announcements on the spread of Coronavirus.

The Machynlleth Comedy Festival due in May is one of the first casualties of the summer festival season which bring people from around the world and provide a major boost to the Mid Wakes economy.

Government advice on events with attendances of under 500 has particularly made things difficult for small venues.

Some events will go ahead at Newtown's Hafren theatre – including Done To Death By Jove! the comedy whodunnit play on Friday, March 20.

But, instead of the full production, which involved audience participation, they will run the one-hour, no-interval version and will have plenty of capacity for customers to sit apart.

Saturday's Ballroom Boys show will also go ahead as planned as the company is currently planning to carry on touring, and ticket sales are being limited to under 500.

But other Hafren shows and events are being cancelled.

A statement released on Tuesday said: "We are advising customers that because we have received no instruction from Government to close we are remaining open to provide a service. Therefore we will not be issuing any refunds on any shows that go ahead and will be in touch with all those who have booked for any shows we have or will cancel in the future.

"We are cancelling community workshops/outreach that is undertaken with older people or people with underlying health risks.

"We are keeping in contact with our volunteers and front of house staff to ensure that we can staff events appropriately and safely.

"We have a very strict regime of cleanliness involving the sanitising of all customer areas daily and throughout the day and we use anti-bacterial soap and all our staff are regularly handwashing.

"We always take the health of our customers and staff very seriously and will continue to adhere to a high standard of hygiene and safety. We will also monitor this situation daily and act according to the government guidelines."

Next week's planned Urdd Dance Eisteddfod event has been cancelled by the Urdd; the Theatr Genedlaethol performance ‘Tylwyth’ on March 26, has been cancelled; and the Francis Rossi show on May 16, has been postponed until April 23, 2021, with current tickets valid for this new date and refunds or credit vouchers for those who cannot make the new date.

In contrast, the Wyeside Arts Centre at Builth Wells decided this week to close completely with immediate effect, with cancellations including the arts centre fundraiser performance of the new play West on Friday, March 20.

Rising recording star Georgia Ruth cancelled plans for her to return to her home town of Aberystwyth to launch her new third album, Mai, this Sunday with a special event at the Arts Centre together with a planned tour.

The Arts Centre has also been cancelling and postponing many other live events although at the moment they are still open for some events.

Theatr Brycheiniog at Brecon has also opted for immediate closure until further notice.

The SpArC theatre at Bishops Castle has cancelled all live shows and are limiting audiences at film screenings to just 50.

Shropshire Council closed Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall at Shrewsbury from Wednesday, March 18, until further notice.

"We will work closely with visiting producers during the coming weeks in order to reschedule events on alternative dates where possible.We thank you for your patience and understanding," said a statement on Tuesday..

A statement from MOMA Machynlleth Museum of Modern Art said: "We are closely monitoring the situation and will follow the UK government’s advice.We intend to continue to open and host our events as planned but things can change quickly so please check our website and social media for updated information.

"However, we kindly ask you not to attend events or visit us if you experience flu-like symptoms or feel unwell".

The Courtyard Theatre at Hereford, due to host the final night of the Mid Wales Opera tour of The Marriage of Figaro at the end of the month, is another border venue which has opted to close up.

Welshpool Music Club has cancelled the final concert of their season with a baroque ensemble due to be held tonight Friday.

Longer term concerns are for the summer festival season with organisers of events drawing up contigency plans to cope, or scale down rather than cancel.

But Machynlleth Comedy Festival has already had to take that decision for 2020

Other summer events that could face decisions include the 2020 Gregynog Festival, ‘Wales’s premier music festival’, due to take place in June near Newtown.

"We are monitoring the ongoing and developing situation very carefully and are exploring all options and contingency planning for each option. We will make a further announcement shortly," said a statement.

As for the County Times' leisure section – well, the options out there for nights out will be limited for the next few weeks, so in the meantime we'll be looking at different types of leisure, and ways to stay entertained through the period of quarantine. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.