Norwich Theatre today announced that they are shelving plans for their 2020 Pantomime, Dick Whittington & His Cat. The production will be postopned until 2021.
In a statement Norwich Theatre’s Chief Executive said:
We know this will be a huge disappointment to our loyal pantomime audience who look forward to this traditional Christmas family treat and this is what saddens us most.
The huge financial losses we are currently experiencing due to an extended period of closure, as well as there having been no government support package for theatres, mean that we are no longer able to commit to such a large scale production because of its substantial up-front costs.
COVID-19 has made a huge dent in future sales for all shows at all of our venues including ticket sales for our pantomime which are significantly lower than usual. This makes the risk of staging the pantomime too great and it is clear from our audience surveys that the government’s early warning to avoid theatres and the prolonged wait for any re-opening plan has dented public confidence in returning to our venues.
Our commitment to our audiences throughout the year, and especially at Christmas, is to deliver magical and brilliant experiences and we do not feel this would be possible in the current circumstances. To proceed would do a disservice to our audiences who have been so loyal and supportive at this unprecedented time.Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive, Norwich Theatre
The theatre is planning to stage their new production of ‘Dick Whittington & His Cat’ at the Theatre Royal over Christmas 2021 and it promises to be their best panto ever.
All current ticket holders will be contacted directly to transfer their tickets to an equivalent performance in 2021. The Box Office team is currently working reduced hours and remotely so the theatre is asking politely for bookers to refrain from contacting them by phone but instead to wait to be contacted within the next few weeks.
Dick Whittington & His Cat was due to play at Norwich Theatre Royal from Tue 8 Dec – Sun 10 Jan. The new dates for Christmas 2021 will be announced shortly.