The UK theatrical premiere of the Broadway version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester has been cancelled.
The production - announced in November - was to have run at Hope Mill from May 9-June 6, and then at Clonter Opera Theatre in Cheshire from June 9-14, but has been put on hold indefinitely due to uncertainty over Coronavirus.
Hope Mill - in common with most of the region's theatres - closed this week after cancelling its run of Zorro, which was to have run until April 18.
Cinderella was due be the first musical produced by A Factory of Creativity, the charitable organisation formed to run the Ancoats, Manchester theatre co-founded by Joseph Houston and William Whelton in 2015.
Theatre executive director, William Whelton, said: “During these uncertain times and with our current closure, we are unable to financially commit to producing the premiere.
“To produce a show on this scale, at a theatre of our size, poses many challenges in the best of circumstances, so to do so in the current climate simply posed too great a risk.
"This was a heartbreaking decision to make but unfortunately was the only one we faced to safeguard our employees and the future of our venue."
Hope Mill artistic director, Joseph Houston, added: “The past few days have been the hardest times we have ever faced as a venue and community.
The show has been a year in the planning, with a full creative and production team already at work. We are hopeful Cinderella will go to the ball, but at this time we are unsure when that will be."
Audience members will be contacted from next week about refunds and the theatre is asking ticket-holders not to call the theatre.
In common with other smaller theatres, Hope Mill is also asking ticket holders to consider donating the ticket money to the venue if they are able (or a separate donation). Supporters can also become friends of the theatre: see the website hopemilltheatre.co.uk for details.