Since completing training, Brett has enjoyed a varied career across the arts as an actor, producer, company manager, stage manager and arts critic. Brett embraces the arts with a passion in all its forms.
Away from the world of theatre, Brett is a vegetarian, loves an occasional glass of wine, chatting with friends and travelling when time permits
Edinburgh based Innovations was initiated with the ambition of championing creative innovation within the field of contemporary dance. Opening doors for dance artists and companies at all stages in their career as a catalyst for presenting their work to new audiences. Innovations has held platforms annually since 2014 presenting eclectic and diverse programmes by artists from the UK and abroad. 2018 saw the platform open its first Edinburgh Fringe Festival Edition, giving artists the opportunity to present their work in the heart of the biggest cultural and arts festival on the planet.
Dance Horizons now presents the first digitally produced edition of Innovations Dance Platform.
A company spokesman said “On the 28th of November audience members should be taking their seats at The Studio but due to the ongoing pandemic live theatre in Scotland is not possible and that all our live events this year have had to be cancelled. However, our dedicated production team have pulled together alongside our artists and companies to produce a programme of Scottish grown dance work for a very special digital edition.”
In our last Arts News Item in the Theatre vs Covid -19 series published on October 11th we looked at the various venues and productions companies beginning there fight back to get the arts and theatrical industry back on its feet as we continue to wait for the long promised funding to be made available Since then both the UK and Scottish Governments have announce large tranches of funds to support the arts as they continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic.
It is inevitable that far to many companies, venues and vitally freelancers will still be left to fall through the cracks and struggle on as the industry continues feel the effects of not just the virus but also the fight to be heard by those with the power of the purse This has been born true in the case of Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre one of Scotland’s few independent large scale theatres who have caused a social media storm of recent. . It is a shameful condemnation of what government thinks of the arts. It has been especially interesting for those of us who allow our passion for it to be the driving factor the arts will survive and flourish and the world and our lives will be better for it.
So, let us take a look at where some of the money is going.
Edinburgh’s Capital Theatres the charitable trust that over sees the Festival, King’s and Studio Theatre’s in Edinburgh has been awarded a £500,000 grant from the Scottish Government. This is in addition to the £250,000 previously awarded. ( although smaller venues in the city ie The Royal Lyceum and Traverse Theatres were awarded a far higher allocation in the first round).
There continues to be a serious threat to the historic King’s Theatre Edinburgh which prior to the Pandemic had secured funding towards the redevelopment of the old lady of leven street and that remains under threat.
Fiona Gibson CEO of Capital Theatres said:
“The emergency funding announcement from the Scottish Government for Capital Theatres is greatly appreciated. It is the short-term financial lifeline that we have campaigned tirelessly for in recent months, bringing us parity with many fellow performing arts venues of similar scale in Scotland. We would very much like to thank the Scottish Government for their support and recognition, acknowledging the crucial contribution our flagship theatres provide to the local, national and cultural sector economies. This will enable us to continue supporting our core staff, freelancers and communities alike.
That being said, this is very much, a long and extremely challenging road to recovery for Capital Theatres and we are still focused on securing the future of the organisation long-term. The funding we have received to date from The Scottish Government represents a very welcome contribution to our trading deficit this year. As Scotland’s largest theatre charity, recovery of this lost income is desperately needed in order for us to fully reopen the doors of our three much loved venues – The Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre and The Studio.
Importantly Capital Theatres’ planned £25million redevelopment of The King’s Theatre still remains under threat. With two-thirds of the required funding in place from a range of sources, the stage was set to progress this vital historic redevelopment of national importance. However, the theatre’s development fund, a designated fund built up over many years specifically for this capital project, has needed to be utilised to enable Capital Theatres to simply function through the pandemic, therefore placing the redevelopment in a precarious position.
The stark truth is that with the pandemic trajectory continuing to significantly impact our ability to potentially open our doors well into 2021, there is still so much more that needs to be done to truly reflect the long-term scale of the crisis facing our theatres. Our objective continues to be to avoid closure of the King’s and to sustain the organisation’s venues for the long term so they can continue to play their vital role in Scotland’s year-round arts scene and support of the health and wellbeing of the many vulnerable communities we serve.
The Pavilion Theatre Glasgow:
The Pavilion have just recently completed a successful crowd funding campaign to turn there 2020 Pantomime offering “Santa Clause is coming to town” into a free digital broadcast. The home of Scottish variety has always been vocal in its attempts to overcome the tough situations its faced over the years.
However, the theatre unleashed a social media tirade against the London Palladium earlier in October as the iconic London based venue opened for socially distant performances that met the restrictions enforced by the UK Government.
While there is merit to statement made by Iain Gordon the simple facts have been ignored, The London Palladium is covered by the restrictions in place by the UK Government where as Covid Restriction in Scotland fall under the Scottish Government remint. Yet no Scottish venue has been allowed to open. To further fan the flames by comparing arts to sport does nothing to help that argument either.
The arts should unite so that the example used by London Palladium, which yes was sold out with the capacity vastly reduced and met social distancing restrictions can be applied to venues around the UK and it may force the Scottish Government to look again at its ongoing ban on not just the arts but hospitality and the many industries struggling to survive. That said the Pavilion has always been the Glasgow people’s theatre and its statements will always pack a punch.
Funding in England:
South of the border 35 venues and companies were informed there were to receive grants that range from £1 million to £3 million each. Amongst the 35 organisations are English National Ballet, Sadler’s Wells and the Old Vic in London.
The higher tier of grants is for larger organisations that need more than £1 million but not more than the starting value of the loans (£3 million) on offer for even bigger organisations.
In response to the announcement, Old Vic actor Andrew Scott said: “Today’s announcement is a hugely exciting and positive step forward in helping the Old Vic survive and thrive. Over its 200-year lifetime, hundreds of thousands of performers, creatives, technical crews, back-of-house teams and everyone else in-between have worked together to make The Old Vic the cultural icon it is today.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “As part of our unprecedented £1.57 billion rescue fund, today we’re saving British cultural icons with large grants of up to £3 million – from Shakespeare’s Globe to the Sheffield Crucible. These places and organisations are irreplaceable parts of our heritage and what make us the cultural superpower we are. This vital funding will secure their future and protect jobs right away.”
While there is more funding to be announced it is welcome to see the bulk of the current grants going to the regions but it’s expected that London both on and off west end will feature heavily in the upcoming funding announcements. While its accepted that money will not reach every single arts organisation its hoped this funding will reach its way to those most in need.
A full list of organisations receiving grants is below:
Adlib Audio Limited – £1,650,356 BH Live – £2,499,531 Bill Kenwright Limited – £1,526,028 Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust – £3,000,000 Birmingham Museums Trust – £1,872,750 Birmingham Repertory Theatre – £1,380,023 Black Country Living Museum Trust – £2,559,805 Design Museum – £2,968,634 Dulwich Picture Gallery – £1,357,823 English National Ballet – £3,000,000 Exchange Events Ltd (Gandey Productions) – £1,092,503 Fabric Life Ltd – £1,514,262 Hull City Council – £1,615,725 Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust – £1,860,000 Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House Ltd – £1,545,163 Leeds Theatre Trust Limited (Playhouse) – £2,381,547 Lights Control Rigging Productions Ltd – £1,076,179 London Transport Museum – £1,750,000 Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust – £3,000,000 North Music Trust (Sage Gateshead) – £1,800,000 Northampton Theatres Trust (Royal & Derngate) – £2,112,891 Norwich Theatre – £3,000,000 Performances Birmingham Limited – £2,534,675 Rambert – £1,283,835 Royal Exchange Theatre Company Ltd – £2,854,444 Sadler’s Wells – £2,975,000 Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – £3,000,000 Shakespeare’s Globe – £2,985,707 Sheffield Theatres Trust Ltd – £2,246,000 The ACC Liverpool Group Limited – £2,972,659 The Mayflower Theatre Trust – £3,000,000 The Octagon Theatre Trust – £620,232 The Old Vic Theatre Trust 2000 – £3,000,000 Theatre Royal (Plymouth) Ltd £1,896,000 Wolverhampton Grand Theatre 1982 LTD £1,187,530
So there we have it, its nice to have some positive news for the arts after 8 months of closure, and with many productions now announcing there return to opening in the west end (with social distancing in full force).
This is just however the tip of the ice berg, so much more sustained financial help is required, if our industry as we knew it prior to covid is to re-emerge fully its needs help of government and its audiences to survive what its going to be a long winter for us all.
Lets as an industry continue to unite and keep those Ghost lights burning bright as we slowly but surely open the theatres of this country once more. We must also remember the arts is more than theatres, from the solo singer on cruise ship to a leading star in the west end the denial of the right perform is the hardest cross to bear, but maybe just maybe there is a chink of light at last in a long tunnel.
In our last Arts News Item in the Theatre vs Covid -19 series published on August 26th we looked at the cancellation of Pantomimes across the Country and the financial burden it was placing on the venues and production Houses. As of this writing the allocation of the UK Governments £1.57 billon support package has still to be released to help those who are in desperate need. Although there is better news north of the border with the Scottish Government announcing the first two tranches of funding to support the industry.
While some venues are receiving funding and limited guidance on the route map back to reopening, the scores of freelance creatives and artists are now forced into survival jobs and as Covid is clearly going through a second wave the Scottish Government have delayed the re-opening date three times and counting.
Venues and producers now clearly see that neither Government will offer the support that needed for those who need it most, therefore the fight back to reopening must be done by the industry itself. Every single member of the industry stands united, we are ready for the challenge we will make the curtains rise once more, so lets take a look around the country and how the theatre is beginning its fight back to life.
The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh: Christmas Tales
A collection of new tales for Christmas by Andy Cannon, Hamaad Chaudhry, Tony Cownie, Robert Softley Gale, Louise Ironside, Jackie Kay, Denise Mina, Mara Menzies, Karine Polwart, Lynda Radley, Shona Reppe, and Morna Young
Directed by Zinnie Harris and Wils Wilson
Designed by Tom Piper
Join Lyceum Theatre this season for a Christmas offering unlike any other. Lyceum Christmas Tales is an advent calendar of 12 stories for audiences in Edinburgh and beyond, combining online and live performances of new and familiar festive tales penned and performed by some of Scotland’s best-loved writers, musicians and artists. On 1 Dec, a free 15 minute Christmas story will appear on The Lyceum Website for families to share at bedtime. Then, a brand new story will appear every other day until the 16th of December – 8 free stories in all. You can visit watch them on the venues website as they appear – or they can be sent them direct to your inbox at home – just sign up for Christmas Tales by E-mail . Each fifteen-minute, family-friendly festive tale will be available to watch free throughout December, with stories ranging from tales of Christmas elves and angels to dung beetles and Greyfriars Bobby.
LYCEUM CHRISTMAS TALES LIVE
The final 4 Chirstmas Tales will be performed together in a special live show with musical interludes on a transformed Lyceum stage between 16-20 December. Sadly due the socially distant nature of the seating the run is sold out, however there are plans for the live shows to be streamed.
Thanks to a funding initiative with the National Lottery that’s only available to Qdos Entertainment An announcement from Qdos and LW Theatres of October 9th confirmed that this Christmas Julian Clary will take socially distant audiences on a magical trip to Pantoland at The Palladium. Performances will begin at the world-famous theatre on 12 December 2020 running until 3 January 2021, with tickets now on sale.
The London Palladium, the home of pantomime, will welcome back panto favourites Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers and Gary Wilmot, as well as past stars Ashley Banjo & Diversity and Charlie Stemp. Making their debut will be West End sensations Beverley Knight and Jac Yarrow.
Returning for a fifth consecutive year, The London Palladium pantomime has become an essential part of Christmas in the West End, with record-breaking box office success year-after-year. Pantoland at The Palladium, devised by Michael Harrison, will be a treasure-trove of The London Palladium panto past and exciting new surprises written especially for the show, guaranteeing an unmissable treat for panto and musical theatre fans alike.
Celebrating the very best of pantomime, with comedy in abundance, this star-filled extravaganza will play to a socially distanced audience. The show will feature the work of Olivier Award-Winning Team director Michael Harrison, choreographer Karen Bruce, set designer Ian Westbrook, costume designer Hugh Durrant, lighting designer Ben Cracknell, sound designer Gareth Owen and composer and orchestrator Gary Hind.
The production at The Palladium has been made possible as a result of a creative initiative announced by The National Lottery today which it hopes will enable hundreds of thousands of theatregoers to enjoy socially distanced pantomime this Christmas in theatres across the nation. The initiative will see The National Lottery buy seats that need to remain empty to enable social distancing, complying with relevant government and public health guidance. By making it viable for theatres to open their doors to the general public, up to 250,000 tickets are expected to be available, with more than 20,000 free tickets available for National Lottery players and the rest to go on sale. This will generate vital income for theatres and help restore jobs – while providing much-needed cheer for panto lovers at Christmas.
Pantoland at The Palladium is the first of a number of productions at theatres across the country to be announced, with Newcastle Theatre Royal and the Birmingham Hippodrome already confirmed for new pantos and further venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Director and Producer Michael Harrison said:
“Pantoland at The Palladium promises to be a spectacular and exciting celebration of this wonderful art form that has been so devastated and decimated by COVID-19.
There is no doubt producing a show of this size and scale is a risk – but it is a risk we have to take. This is not a long term fix, nor a solution to the tragic situation our industry is in, it simply provides a sticking plaster on a very big theatrical wound as we hopefully prepare for full openings in 2021.
As well as bringing our wonderful audiences back, we want to play our part in the rehabilitation of London’s vibrant West End. The production is made possible by the sheer goodwill, determination and courage of so many people – thanks to them over 200 people will now have jobs over Christmas.”
Chairman of Qdos Entertainment, Nick Thomas added:
“I’m delighted that Qdos Entertainment is able to return to The London Palladium this Christmas. Having produced more than 750 pantomimes across the UK over the past 37 years, it would have been unthinkable for us to have a Christmas without the magic of panto. Thanks to our partnership with The London Palladium we are able to give tens of thousands of theatregoers the opportunity to enjoy some very much needed theatrical magic with their families this Christmas.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
“Christmas 2020 needs a Pantomime, and this one at The London Palladium has never meant so much to our industry and our audiences. LW Theatres operates as a not-for-profit and we are delighted that The National Lottery’s support will enable Qdos Entertainment and Producer/Director Michael Harrison to stage this socially distanced production at The London Palladium, alongside many others across the nation.
Opening Pantoland at The Palladium will provide crucial support to struggling restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses across the West End, leading to thousands of vital jobs on stage, off stage and backstage.
Since theatres were closed in March, we have spent considerable time, effort and money, making The London Palladium Covid-secure. Using all our knowledge and experiences from around the world, we ran a pilot at The London Palladium for Public Health England and the government to demonstrate that theatres can be a safe environment for our audiences.
By next Spring, our major productions across London’s beloved West End must – and will – be back. I sincerely hope that this pantomime brings a moment of much-needed festive cheer as we continue to fight for the revival of our wonderful and vital theatre industry.”
It not clear if Qdos’s three Scottish venues, His Majesty’s Aberdeen, Kings Theatre Glasgow, Glasgow Sec and King’s Theatre Edinburgh will benefit from this as the arts and covid restrictions are devolved under the Scottish Government we can but hope. There is also chance the palladium panto will be broadcast so maybe even us North of the border will benefit.
For full info on Pantoland at the Palladium go to:
Les Misérables returns to the Barricades.
The Britain’s Got Talent 2020 Finale featured a powerhouse performance of Sir Cameron Macintosh’s biggest shows, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserable the all star concert cast in performance which moved the nation. Sir Cameron took to the stage to announce the return of Les Misérables – The Staged Concert for a six-week limited run at the Sondheim Theatre from 5 December 2020 – 17 January 2021, coinciding with the musical’s 35th year on Shaftesbury Avenue.
Les Misérables -The Staged Concert broke box office records and sold out its entire 16 week season when it ran last year at the Gielgud Theatre. Its all-star cast, led by Michael Ball as Javert, Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean (Alfie will alternate the role with John Owen Jones), Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine and Matt Lucas as Thénardier will return alongside a company of over 50 actors and musicians.
Cameron Mackintosh said:
“the beautiful new Sondheim Theatre will re-open its doors so audiences can once again leap to their feet thrilled by Victor Hugo’s timelessly uplifting story of the survival of the human spirit told through Boublil and Schönberg amazing iconic score – Let The People Sing. Happy Christmas to us all.”
Covid safety measures and social distancing will be in place front of house, on stage, backstage and throughout the building.
For full details of the special concert performances go to:
The smash hit musical has moved London home and has left The Arts theatre to the larger Lyric Theatre for a special festive socially distant season, kicking off on 14 November and running through 31st January 2021. The company will then decant back to The Arts Theatre with performances recommencing 2nd March 2021. The Company have also confirmed the UK Tour will recommence with socially distant performances at the Lowry in Salford at the stunning Lyric theatre (the Lowry houses both the Lyric and Quays Theatre, don’t confuse the west end and Manchester shows when booking.
Manchester based Hope Mill Theatre company had originally scheduled Jonathan Larson’s classic rock opera “Rent” for the spring of this year before Covid forced a cancellation. However, the company are back! With a socially distant season already sold out to capacity run.
However, there is still time to enjoy the show via the online portal on selected dates for full details go to:
While the industry has a very long way to go and the hurt and suffering will go on for so many, this is the start of the way back, The theatre and arts have survived hundreds of years, through depressions, War, power cuts crippling funding cuts each time its those inside the industry the performers, musicians, front of house staff, the legends of backstage, critics, writers, producers the list is endless have always united in the common good. We may not agree with every choice or decision taken as we make the journey back to our theatres being fully re-opened with Social distancing a thing of the past.
However, it’s clear we must stand united and strong, we are viable, we are worthy, and we give us much to the economy as every other industry. The Government believe they have done enough, the sad reality is its barely scratched the surface and their unwillingness to listen speaks volumes.
For far too many theatres and performances spaces the Ghost lights will continue to burn bright and strong, there auditoriums and stages waiting to be lit once more. The journey to that point starts now, so let the work begin.
Normally at this time of year Edinburgh based Showcase Musical Productions would be in the opening throws of there annual Show week at the cities Churchill theatre. The company would have celebrated there 30th anniversary.
30 years of their unique blend of taking the best of rock, pop, opera, and musical theatre songs, scoring them for a large orchestra and impressive 50 plus strong choir. Showcase is a special production as its mission is to raise funds to support the work of Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity which supports those living with and effected by Cancer. To date showcase have raised £290,000 and the 2020 production would have seen company smash the £300,000 mark.
The Curtain was set the rise on 15th September, sadly like the entire industry the performances have fallen victim to the Covid crisis. The company however were determined to keep the fund raising going, therefore a 30th anniversary Album is being released.
Simple entitled “Showcase: 30th Anniversary Album” the challenge to deliver a 19 track album whilst following social distancing restrictions was no mean feat as company musical director David McFarlane explains “ It is a huge honour to have been working with fabulously talented company for almost a quarter of a century! No other theatre company delivers such an eclectic mix of music ranging from musical theatre through the best of rock and pop to TV and Movie music. This Year has been even more of challenge than others but what we wanted to create was the live “Showcase Sound” that our theatre audiences have come to expect. To do this we have employed our brilliant 15-piece Showcase Orchestra who had been unable to play in any live ensemble since March. Similarly, our singers were extremely eager to come back and sing their heart outs – albeit in required sections. It has been a challenging, but equally enjoyable for all concerned. I sincerely hope that our efforts in producing this CD will help raise much needed funds for MacMillan.”
The process of recording whilst observing strict social distancing measures included the use of the Capital Theatres “The Studio” on potterrow and a plan was developed which saw company members asked to sign a Covid 19 declaration. Face coverings, hands sanitizing and a deep clean of all chairs, music stands, microphones, high touch areas all had to undergo deep cleaning- even the floors between each session.
The recording process produced 1429 individual audio recordings, and these have been mixed to create a beautiful album with a professional finish. The company guarantee that the 30th anniversary album will celebrate the absolute best of the companies work over the years.
Showcase’s greatest attribute to the theatrical pantheon is its humanity and deep-rooted compassion for the cause it supports. Its signature song is “ Love and Mercy” and given where the theatrical industry is at the moment and indeed the world “ Love and Mercy” has never mattered more.
So now is the time to order Showcase 30th Anniversary Album and celebrate all that is good with the company with the big heart as we stand together to look to next 30 years and beyond.
Showcase the 30th Anniversary Album is available for pre-order by donation from the companies Facebook page www.facebook.com/showcaseedin from Tuesday 15th September.
In our last Arts News Item in the Theatre vs Covid -19 series published on July 6th we looked at the financial support available to the industry in the light of the UK governments £1.57 Billion investment package. Sadly, and somewhat inevitably considering the lacklustre Tory Government hardly any further details of its allocation has been released and no one has seen one penny of the promised funding, a shameful display from a government that keeps proving it doesn’t care about the arts and those who work in it.
Qdos one of the countries biggest pantomime producers in the UK, which includes 4 productions in Scotland gave the government a deadline of August 3rd to give the information as to how Theatres can open safely without social distancing in order to make producing panto’s in the 2020/21 season financially viable. The Government true to form let the industry down spectacularly by saying there will be no further updates until at least November. Therefore, Qdos joins many other companies and theatres on postponing there shows into 2021/22 season. We round up as many as possible below, it makes for sad reading. Panto is for too many venues the lynch pin of the year and the money they bring in enables these venues to produce work the rest of the year. As much as it’s a British tradition it employee’s thousands of performers, technicians, writers, production teams, musicians not to mention theatre stuff both front of house and back stage. The decision to postpone or cancel pantomimes is not taken lightly and the real fight for our venues to survive is very much now in full force, and we must all do what we can to support the industry. It will survive but in what condition Is now in our hands, as one thing is clear we can’t rely or expected any more support from the government of the UK.
Starting in Aberdeen and His Majesty’s theatre, this years scheduled Beauty and the Best will move to 4th Dec 2021 – 9th Jan 2022, casting wasn’t announced for this years show, however casting for the new dates will announced in due course. The theatre confirms tickets will be valid for the rescheduled dates and refunds are available.
In Edinburgh at the beautiful King’s Theatre for the first time since 1968 the Kings will not have a pantomime on its stage, Sleeping Beauty staring Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, Grant Stott and Jordan Young moves to 27th November 2021 – 16th Jan 2022, tickets from this year will automatically transfer into the new dates and refunds are available. This will mark the final pantomime before the scheduled closure of the King’s for its major refurbishment.
In Glasgow, Qdos are Scheduled to Stage Cinderella at the King’s Theatre, planned to run Sat 28th Nov 2020 – Sun 3rd Jan 2021 starring returning team Elaine C Smith and Johnny Mac, the company are also scheduled to stage Aladdin staring Gary Tank Commander at the SEC Armadillo from 12th to 30th December, we are still awaiting official confirmation but its likely both shows will either be postponed or cancelled completely.
Elsewhere around the UK at the time of writing Qdos have postponed : Grand Opera House Belfast, Goldilocks and the Three Bears starring May McFettridge, Birmingham Hippodrome Goldilocks and the three Bears starring Jason Donovan and Matt Slack, The Alhambra Theatre Bradford Sleeping Beauty Starring Billy Pearce, Churchill Theatre Bromley Sleeping Beauty, The New Theatre Cardiff Aladdin starring Paul Chuckle, Gareth Gates, Gareth Thomas and Mike Doyle, The Lyceum Theatre Crewe Sleeping Beauty Starring Cannon and Ball, The Orchard Theatre Dartford Jack and The Beanstalk starring Christopher Biggins, White Rock Theatre Hastings Robin Hood, Beck Theatre Hayes Jack and the Beanstalk, The New Theatre Hull Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Royal and Derngate Northampton Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal Nottingham Robin Hood, the Mayflower Southampton Cinderella starring Craig Revel Horwood and Debbie McGee, Cliffs Pavilion Southend Cinderella, The Grand Theatre Swansea Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Wyvern Theatre Swindon Jack and the Beanstalk. There is no word on the Jewel in the Qdos Crown The London Palladium.
Imagine have seen almost there entire programme for 2020/21 postponed, Imagine take panto into some of the medium to smaller towns and the effects on those venue are nothing short of Catastrophic. The shows moving to 2021 are The Palace Theatre Kilmarnock Aladdin, the Civic Theatre Rotherham Aladdin, The Beacon Arts Centre Greenock Cinderella, The Hexagon Theatre Reading Beauty and The Beast, The Royal Spa Centre Leamington Aladdin, The Adam Smith Theatre Kirkcaldy this years Snow White is cancelled and will be Replaced with Cinderella in 2021, Fairfield Hall Croydon Beauty and The Beast, The Town House Falkirk Beauty and the Beast, The Grand Pavilion Porthcawl Aladdin, Victoria Theatre Halifax Jack and the Beanstalk and DeMonfort Hall Leicester Sleeping Beauty.
Its not just the big panto producers that have been effected, looking at Independent Theatres they are Similar effected, Starting with The Pavilion Theatre Glasgow, They were scheduled to produce Santa Clause is coming to town, the theatre have now confirmed that will go ahead a digital offering and they will return next year with Cinderella, its an odd choice as the venue last produced the show in 2018-19 so to come back to it so soon does leave you wondering will the script be as new as it should be? That said the previous production earned four stars let’s hope Grado and Stephen Purdon don the heels again.
The Brunton Theatre Musselburgh is well known for its Family and child friendly pantomime beloved by thousands from across East Lothian and beyond. This year the team were scheduled to produce Aladdin for the 2020/21 season, they too have moved the show into 2021/22.
Looking North to Eden Court Theatre Inverness, they work with Imagine Pantomimes and are scheduled to produce Cinderella, at the time of writing its still planning to go ahead with tickets on sale, but given the Imagine have so far postponed or cancelled 90% of there programme for this year, id hard to believe Eden Court can find a way to proceed. That said if they can, they will be one of the few.
2020 is a year that humanity will never forget, it has changed the face of the planet and taken a terrible cost and nothing can replace the vast number of those lost. Its also effected every industry across the board and theatre has especially felt its pain. Now Pantomime has fallen to the power of the virus its more important than ever when our theatres and venues to do reopen, and may outdoor venues already have that we support them as best when can. Also spare a though for the hundred of thousands of freelancers and creatives across the industry as it’s a very long road back.
For now the Ghost lights continue to burn brightly on far to many stages lets hope the curtains will rise safely as soon as is possible.