Coronavirus: Theatre Severn postpones pantomime until winter 2021
Shropshire Council’s Theatre Severn have announced that this year’s pantomime “Beauty and the Beast” has been postponed until winter 2021. The production was due to run between Wednesday 2 December 2020 and Sunday 10 January 2021 and was set to be enjoyed by more than 40,000 theatregoers.
Co-produced with Evolution Productions, the Theatre Severn pantomime is hugely successful and attracts audiences from across Shropshire, mid-Wales and beyond. The decision was ultimately made in response to the recent announcement by the Government that it will not be possible, until November at the earliest, to clarify whether indoor performances can take place without social distancing.
David Jack, venues and programme manager, said:
“We waited as long as we could, and have made this decision with the heaviest hearts, because we know how much our audiences love their annual visit to see the pantomime here. However, the continued uncertainty around when we’ll be allowed to re-open the theatre at full capacity has left us with no choice.”
“”Beauty and the Beast” will now happen in 2021, and we intend to bring audiences a fantastic show, bigger and better than ever. We are exploring alternative plans for the forthcoming Christmas season and will share any news with our audiences when appropriate.”
Writer, director and producer of the Shrewsbury pantomime, Paul Hendy from Evolution Productions, said:
“The thought of Christmas without pantomime is incredibly upsetting. I’m a local person and I love the Theatre Severn; I know our audiences are wonderful and I know they will understand this decision and be supportive of it. Will the Theatre Severn pantomime return? Oh yes it will!”
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said:
“I am obviously disappointed that the panto cannot go ahead and know that, like me, audiences will sympathise with the staff of both Theatre Severn and Evolution who had tried so hard to find a way for the show to go on but it was simply not possible. My traditional visit to the panto won’t happen this year but I’ll certainly be there in 2021.”
Legendary Dame Brad Fitt, the star of Theatre Severn pantomimes since 2011 also had a message for audiences:-
“I’m devastated that my tenth pantomime in my beloved Shropshire has had to be postponed. I know that Evolution Pantomimes and Theatre Severn have not taken this decision lightly, but without further clarification from the Government, the uncertainty around restrictions gives them no choice. I shall miss you all of course but, we will be back. Love to you all.”
Theatre Severn confirmed that existing ticketholders for “Beauty and the Beast” will be able to retain their preferred seats for next year. Ticketholders will be contacted by the venue in due course with further advice, and are asked to await direct updates regarding their booking before contacting the Box Office.
Stay updated with the latest news about coronavirus and Shropshire Council services by signing up to our email bulletins