Panto season as with all theatre productions is in a state of flux. A big part of Christmas for many families throughout the UK is the annual trip to the Panto. For some Christmas would not be complete without Cinders or Aladdin running around the stage. But with the continuing confusion over the so called tier designation producers have been left fearing the worst but having to plan for the best, following Thursday’s coronavirus tiers government announcement.
Theatres in tier three areas will not be able to reopen when lockdown ends on 2 December, unless they are moved into tier two after a review on 16 December.
So how can they plan effectively for panto season. A statement from Sheffield Theatre typifies the situation that many across England in particular find themselves.
“Following the announcement that Sheffield will be placed into Tier 3 once the current national lockdown ends, we remain committed to doing everything we can to bring the magic of panto to Sheffield this year.
It’s a relief to know that we are able to continue to rehearse shows under the current Tier 3 guidance. Our rehearsals for Damian’s Pop Up Panto will begin on Sun 6 December and we’ll be preparing to welcome audiences back to the buildings from Wed 16 December. We know that if we remain in Tier 3 we won’t be able to reopen to the public. We are remaining hopeful that the spread of the virus will slow and that we may move down to Tier 2, in which case we can reopen the Crucible’s doors. Should Sheffield remain in Tier 3 when the first review takes place, we’ll adjust our plans and we hope to share the pantomime online.
If ever there was a year when we need the joy of pantomime, it’s this one and if ever there was a time for us to draw on all our reserves of hope, it’s now!” Here, here!