Dozens of annual pantos lost to coronavirus

Steve Royle was to have starred in Blackpool Grand's Snow White, now moved to next Christmas

Writer:

Paul Genty

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Updated:

Huge tally of shows and personnel affected by virus pandemic

At the latest count earlier this week over 55 UK pantomimes scheduled for this winter had been cancelled and almost 3,600 theatre redundancies announced, reports BritishTheatre.com.

The site is keeping a running total of the impact and extent of the theatre industry disaster due to Covid-19 and the government response to it.

The site says redundancies for permanent theatre staff – until recently only threatened, since the government’s furlough scheme allowed some practitioners to receive a proportion of their pay – are now being put into effect as the scheme comes to an end. As the site also reports, a further 3,000 freelance staff have received virtually no support in more than four months.

The loss of so many pantomimes, including Oldham Coliseum announced today (see separate story here), Buxton Opera House, Sheffield Lyceum, Southport Theatre and both Blackpool Winter Gardens and Grand Theatre in our region, will have a major knock-on effect next year, since the annual panto of many smaller producing theatres can provide 20 per cent or more of their annual box office income. Many of the cancelled pantomimes have already been shunted forward to the winter 2021 slot. 

Read the full story and and panto list here

c2019 TheatreReviewsNorth