Telford's Aladdin pantomime cancelled due to coronavirus impact

Telford's pantomime has been cancelled for the first time in more than 20 years due to the impact of Covid-19.

Peter Pan cast members on stage at The Place, Telford in 2017. There will be no Telford pantomime in 2020.
Peter Pan cast members on stage at The Place, Telford in 2017. There will be no Telford pantomime in 2020.

The production of Aladdin at The Place, in Oakengates, has been postponed to 2021 and comes just hours after it was confirmed that the Shrewsbury Theatre Severn pantomime will also be shelved this year.

The Place has been closed since March and all productions have been cancelled for the last six months.

Councillor Eileen Callear, cabinet lead responsible, said: “We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel Telford’s hugely popular pantomime production for the first time in over 20 years. However we trust that people will appreciate the very difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic that have led us to this decision.

“Current Government guidance on how venues can safely operate for live performance affects all the characteristics of a traditional pantomime experience that make them such a firm family favourite – packed houses, lots of singing and shouting and the audience joining in, characters interacting on stage, are all reasons why we cannot put on the pantomime this year.

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“It’s been a difficult decision to make but ensuring the safety of all customers, staff and cast is paramount during these difficult times.

“Telford’s pantomime has an extremely loyal following, with people travelling from far afield to see our productions each winter and we want to ensure they have the same memorable and quality experience.

"I know they will be looking forward to joining us again next year. We really hope that audiences will begin to join us for our reopening programme in the coming months, this has been a very challenging year for cultural venues and without our audiences they cannot survive”

James Shone, of Shone Productions, which puts on Telford’s panto, said: “Aladdin was set to be yet another spectacular production and we are extremely sad not to be able to create more unforgettable performances this winter.

"We have waited as long as we can to make this decision but the continued uncertainty around restrictions to live performance has left us with no choice. In the meantime all of the cast and everyone at Shone productions will continue to work hard to make next year’s show one to remember.”

Theatre manager Debbie King added: “We are exploring alternative plans for the Christmas season and will share any news with our audiences when we can.”

Tickets will be automatically transferred to next year’s pantomime. The box office team will be contacting all existing customers with details about this and information on other options.

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