The Millennium Forum has decided to put off this year's pantomime 'Sleeping Beauty' until next Christmas season.
The show will now run from November 26 - December 20, 2021.
A spokesperson said: "After careful consideration and, in light of recent government guidelines which give no clear path to any reopening of theatres, it is with enormous regret that the Millennium Forum has made the difficult decision to postpone its 2020 pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, to 2021.
Forum management made this decision after carefully assessing all options open to the landmark city theatre which is hugely popular locally, nationally and internationally, having welcomed in excess of 5.5 million visitors since opening in 2001. However, the considerations in relation to social distancing within the venue as well as the financial risk in presenting such a huge production in the current climate meant that the much loved seasonal production has had to be postponed. A key deciding factor was also the belief among the management team that the experience of pantomime in a packed theatre with a large audience full of families and friends who could safely interact with the performers on stage would be so compromised this year that it would affect the magic, beauty and tradition of pantomime for which the theatre is well known.
Millennium Forum Chief Executive, David McLaughlin, said:
“It is devastating to have to make this call to reschedule the 2020 pantomime as, each Christmas, we welcome nearly 30,000 patrons to our spectacular production. We must accept, however, the inevitable barriers that Covid -19 presents with the imposition of extreme operating restrictions preventing us from delivering the magical Forum Panto for which we are known. We currently believe that we are unable to do that this year and would not be doing our show, theatre and, most importantly, our audience, justice in the current climate in which we all must operate.
Our customers deserve the very best we can produce for the stage of the Millennium Forum and, unfortunately, postponing our production until next year feels like the fairest, most sensible and safest option at this time.”
Our Box Office team will contact all current ticket holders with a view to automatically transferring bookings over to next year and, if this is not suitable, a full refund will be available.
Martin Bradley, Chairperson of the Derry Theatre Trust, the theatre’s governing body said:
“We would like to thank all our audience members and supporters including all our funders, particularly, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Arts Council NI for their continued support in these challenging and difficult times and would urge the public to continue to support our theatre by buying tickets for future performances which are currently advertised on our website.”
The rescheduled dates for Sleeping Beauty, which is sponsored by Richmond Centre, Derry are 26th November 2021 to 20th December 2021. All queries concerning current or new bookings can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org