This year’s eagerly anticipated, lavish pantomime, Cinderella, planned for the Opera House in Blackpool has been cancelled. The early decision has been taken to avoid wasting the massive financial investment required to stage the 2020 Christmas show. The Opera House now joins the ever growing list of regional theatres which have cancelled their annual pantos which are crucial to their earnings. This Christmas could now prove to be make or break for many of these venues’ futures.
The Opera House said: ‘It is with great regret and sadness we have made the decision to postpone this year’s production of Cinderella to Christmas 2021. Set to be the first pantomime in over 60 years at the venue, the large-scale production requires a huge level of investment now to ensure it’s ready including the casting, special effects, costumes, set design and much more. Despite the proposed lifting of restrictions, the risk of a resurgence in Covid-19 and of localised lockdowns during Winter, make the financial investment required too much of a risk.
Michael Williams, Winter Gardens Managing Director commented, ‘We are deeply saddened to postpone Cinderella until next Christmas. We were all hugely excited to see such a large-scale pantomime return to the Opera House this year, but the potential of a socially distanced Christmas just isn’t viable’
Strictly Come Dancing personality, Shirley Ballas, who was due to be one of the stars of the festive show said, ‘I am devastated that I won’t be on-stage in Blackpool this Christmas, but the safety of the audience, cast and crew is what’s most important. I am delighted that the show will return in 2021 and can’t wait to take to the stage for Blackpool’s biggest ever pantomime.’
The Blackpool Opera House Roll of Honour shares the great names of entertainment which have appeared at the venue during Summer seasons. Will these great days return?