Qdos sets deadline on when to decide whether 34 pantomime shows will go ahead
| By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels
(Updated on Aug 11, 2020)
The UK's biggest pantomime producer, Qdos Pantomimes, has set a deadline on when it will decide whether 34 of its Christmas pantomime productions this year will go ahead or be cancelled. If by 3 August 2020 Qdos does not get clarity from the government, it will "have to begin the process of unravelling the season," according to the Qdos Managing Director, Michael Harrison.
The news comes after BBC reported that some pantomime productions are beginning to cancel their shows ahead of what's been referred to as a "make-or-break" holiday season for many UK theatres. So far, Aladdin 2020 at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London has not been affected, but other venues such as the Norwich Theatre Royal and venues in Welwyn Garden City and Buxton have already had to call off their panto productions.
Update (11 August 2020): The Aladdin 2020 panto at the Lyric Hammersmith has been postponed to 2021.
Only one month left before Qdos must make a tough decision
If there is no clarity from the government come the 3rd of August, Qdos will likely pull the plug on all 34 of its pantomime shows. Among such Qdos Christmas pantos include:
- Beauty and the Beast - Aberdeen
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears - Belfast, Birmingham
- Sleeping Beauty - Bradford, Bromley, Crewe, Edinburgh, High Wycombe
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Bristol, Hull, Swansea, Woking
- Aladdin - Cardiff, Glasgow SEC, Llandudno, Manchester, Plymouth
- Cinderella - Darlington, Glasgow Kings, Richmond, Southampton, Southend, Stoke
- Jack and the Beanstock - Dartford, Hayes, Milton Keynes, Swindon
- Humpty Dumpty - Newcastle
- Dick Whittington - Northampton, Wimbledon
- Robin Hood - Hastings, Nottingham
- Dick Turpin Rides Again - York
- To be announced - London
Pantomime season crucial for many theatres across the country
Conservative MP Giles Watling recently told BBC: "I think many provincial theatres will go to the wall, frankly, because that's the time they can make the money. It puts money in the coffers to support the rest of the cultural offer. I can see massive problems ahead if something isn't done and soon."
Here's to hoping that something sometime soon is done. Recently, Oliver Dowden visited the London Palladium with Andrew Lloyd Webber to test safe public performances and the Culture Secretary has stated that "panto season is key." So at least we know there's hope!
💪 Keep urging the UK government for more clarity and financial support!