South Hill Park Arts Centre is proud of its reputation for its popular home produced annual Christmas pantomime – a multi award-winner and nominee at the Great British Pantomime Awards – but due to the devastating impact of Covid-19, South Hill Park’s management and Board have taken the difficult decision to postpone this year’s production of Cinderella to 2021.
Whilst for many reasons the pantomime forms an important part of South Hill Park’s annual programme, with current social distancing guidelines and the uncertainty of when venues will be able to resume live indoor performances, it is no longer financially viable to produce a pantomime in 2020.
Chief Executive Craig Titley said, ‘It is with great sadness that we have taken this very difficult decision. In 2019, 19,000 people saw South Hill Park’s pantomime and for many it is the highlight of the South Hill Park calendar. As we produce our own pantomime, work on its starts as early as February with sets and costumes created, built, and painted in August and September, but with so much uncertainty we can’t take the financial risk this year. We know this will be disappointing to many but Cinderella will return in 2021.’
On 29 July the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said in an interview on BBC Radio 4, ‘We can only give the guidance to resume performances without social distancing when it is safe to do so. The Prime Minister has indicated that will be November at the earliest’.
Craig Titley continues, ‘A socially distanced pantomime is not only a financial risk but would result in a very different experience for the cast and audience which would not be the same. Who wants to shout, ‘it’s behind you’ with only a handful of other audience members dotted around the auditorium?’
All current Cinderella ticket holders are being contacted, so please do not contact the Box Office at this time if you are a ticket holder, they will be in touch as soon as possible.
If you would like to support South Hill Park Arts Centre then please consider a donation to our fundraising campaign.
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