In a worrying portent that could potentially impact on the ability of venues around the country to host brass band competitions in the early part of 2021, the Winter Gardens in Blackpool has announced that it has cancelled its forthcoming Christmas pantomime production of 'Cinderella' due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
It was to run from 12th December to 2nd January 2021 and would have normally seen packed audiences at the Opera House venue — home to at least two sections of the North West Regional Championships.
North West Area
They in turn, alongside the use of the complex's Pavilion Theatre and Empress Ballroom are due to host the 2021 'Area' event on Sunday 28th February as well as the British Open Spring Festival in May.
A production of 'The Commitments' which was due to have taken place at the Opera House from 4th-9th January has already been postponed until June 2021.
Too much of a risk
In a statement issued on their Winter Gardens website, it said: "Despite the proposed lifting of restrictions, the risk of a resurgence in Covid-19 and of localised lockdowns during Winter, make the financial investment required too much of a risk."
Managing Director Michael Williams added: "We are deeply saddened to postpone Cinderella until next Christmas. We were all hugely excited to see such a large-scale pantomime return to the Opera House this year, but the potential of a socially distanced Christmas just isn't viable."
Despite the proposed lifting of restrictions, the risk of a resurgence in Covid-19 and of localised lockdowns during Winter, make the financial investment required too much of a riskWinter Gardens
At present some shows and productions at the Winter Gardens are being promoted for 2021 — including a Masquerade Ball in the Spanish Hall and a 'Queen Extravaganza' in the Opera House, both on the 6th February.
In an announcement made by the UK Government on Thursday 30th July, a number of new localised lockdown measures were being implemented for areas of Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire.