Falkirk Community Trust has said it is with “enormous regret” that they are postponing the planned production of Beauty and the Beast until 2021.
They same the decision to halt this year’s run of shows, the third pantomime the trust had been involved with, was after careful consideration in light of the latest guidelines from the Scottish Government over the coronavirus pandemic.
The trust said social distancing rules would have caused financial risk to the organisation and its producers, but more importantly would have detracted from audience enjoyment as pantomimes should be experienced in a “packed auditorium full of families who can interact with the actors on stage”.
In a statement, the trust said: “If we are unable to achieve that this year then we would not be doing the art form justice. Therefore, postponing until next year feels like the most sensible, fair and safe option.”
In 2018 the trust worked with Imagine Theatre to bring Cinderella to the town hall stage with a professional cast, as well as giving local schoolchildren an opportunity to take part.
Last year’s production of Aladdin had a similar format and popular Falkirk singer Barbara Bryceland was a star of both pantomimes with Cinderella her first acting role.
Lesley O’Hare, culture and libraries manager, said: “It was with a heavy heart that we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone this year’s pantomime. We understand the impact this will have. However, the safety of our customers along with that of the cast and our staff is our main priority.
“Please be assured this decision was not taken lightly and we are currently researching any and all opportunities to provide another form of festive entertainment.”
The trust spokesperson added that they are in the process of finalising the schedule for next year and the box office staff will then be contacting everyone who has booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast as soon as possible with options to transfer their booking to 2021.
However, they realise that people may wish either a refund or credit towards tickets for other shows at the venue which can be arranged.
The Macrobert in Stirling has also announced that it will not be presenting its pantomime this year.
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