Oh no it’s not. Oh yes it is. Christmas pantomimes are off for most of the UK as Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) confirms it has cancelled all its planned Christmas pantomime productions for 2020.
One of the UK’s largest theatre operators, the company and its producing partner Qdos Pantomimes had hoped to run some productions this year but the continued uncertainty of covid-19 have forced it and many other venues to remain closed.
Venues affected include Aylesbury Waterside Theatre; Bristol Hippodrome; Grand Opera House York; New Wimbledon Theatre; Richmond Theatre; King’s Theatre, Glasgow; Liverpool Empire; Milton Keynes Theatre; New Victoria Theatre Woking; Opera House Manchester; Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent; and, Sunderland Empire.
ATG has confirmed all the affected productions will be rescheduled for Christmas 2021.
Ticket holders do not need to do anything as once new dates are finalised, their tickets will be transferred across to the closest equivalent performance in 2021.
The company also announced it is to lay off a further 500 members of staff as it concedes it will not reopen its venues until spring of next year. The affected staff are reportedly not being made redundant, with the company instead invoking “lay-off clauses”. These members of staff will be paid a small weekly fee, with the view to their jobs being kept for them for when the company is able to reopen its venues. This follows news that 1,200 casual and zero-hour contract staff were let go in August, as an earlier round of redundancies in June of this year.