Pantomime firm’s shows start to fall in ‘devastating’ blow for theatres

Picture copyright
Mayflower/Qdos

Picture caption

Craig Revel Horwood and Debbie McGee were being owing to star in Cinderella in Southampton

The UK’s largest pantomime producer has started cancelling its 2020 shows amid ongoing uncertainty about when theatres will be in a position to reopen totally.

Qdos has place this year’s festive shows in Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh and Southampton back to 2021.

The operator of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh claimed the move would outcome in “the substantial reduction of £2.3m at the worst possible time for the theatres”.

Qdos experienced been planning to stage 34 pantos across the United kingdom this Christmas.

It is speaking about the fates of the other thirty with people venues – “a elaborate approach” that it says will get numerous months.

Qdos set a deadline of three August to get “clarity” from the federal government about the reopening of theatres.

But last 7 days, Lifestyle Secretary Oliver Dowden told BBC Radio four he didn’t assume to be in a position to give a day for permitting audiences in without the need of social distancing until November “at the earliest”.

Pantomimes are critical to theatre earnings, but are unlikely to be monetarily practical with social distancing limits in area.

On Wednesday, Qdos verified that 4 shows experienced been rescheduled:

  • Cinderella at the Mayflower in Southampton, owing to star Craig Revel Horwood and Debbie McGee, was owing to run from 11 December 2020 to three January 2021, but has been place back to Christmas 2021.
  • Beauty and the Beast at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen, scheduled to run from 28 November 2020 to three January 2021, will now run from four December 2021 to nine January 2022.
  • Sleeping Beauty at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, scheduled to run from 28 November 2020 to 17 January 2021, will now run from 27 November 2021 to 16 January 2022.
  • Goldilocks and the 3 Bears at the Grand Opera Property in Belfast, scheduled to run from 28 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, will now open in “late 2021”.

‘Devastating’ blow

In a assertion, Capital Theatres, which runs the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, claimed the seasonal show accounted for thirty% of the firm’s annual profits.

Chief govt Fiona Gibson claimed the cancellation was the “largest blow” to face the firm considering the fact that the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March.

“Capital Theatres is Scotland’s greatest theatre charity and the effect of this determination is devastating,” she claimed.

Picture caption

The refurbishment of the Grand Opera Property in Belfast commenced in January

Belfast Grand Opera Property main govt Ian Wilson termed the postponements of the panto and a few other shows “vastly disappointing” and “a substantial blow to the theatre’s funds at an presently challenging time”.

Aberdeen Carrying out Arts, which manages His Majesty’s Theatre, claimed “ongoing limits and the predicted timescale for their peace” manufactured it “unattainable… to supply a practical pantomime time this 12 months”.

Lockdown limits were being reimposed in the metropolis owing on Wednesday to a coronavirus cluster in the metropolis.

Qdos’s thirty remaining pantos are scheduled for cities like Birmingham, Bradford and Bristol.

In a assertion on Monday, the firm claimed it was “left with no alternative but to get started the consultation approach with our husband or wife theatres about the viability of each individual show”.

Other producers and venues have presently pulled the plug on festive productions in locations like Leicester, Norwich and Welwyn Back garden Town.

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