London Palladium Pantomime, Pantoland, will go ahead this year thanks to an initiative by the National Lottery which will see audience members able to socially distance throughout the performance.
London Palladium Pantomime to go ahead this Christmas
Performances will run for three-weeks
National Lottery initiative provides funds to pay for empty seats
Regional theatre not subject to the same assistance
Despite the UK being in the grip of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and England having been placed in a second national lockdown, the annual Christmas Pantomime at the London Palladium is set to go ahead thanks to a windfall in the form of National Lottery funding.
The London Palladium, owned by LW Theatres, which has been home to the UK’s largest pantomime for since 1948, will go ahead with a socially distanced audience provided that the UK government life the national lockdown.
The ongoing global situation due to Covid-19 pandemic means that theatres up and down the country have had to take the pro-active stance of cancelling their pantos for the coming season in another drastic blow the theatre industry.
Panto season in the UK is traditionally the largest income generating period for theatres and this new blow will see many continue to struggle with mounting bills and debt.
However, on Friday, October 9, the London Palladium announced that a three-week run of this year’s performance, Pantoland, will take place with audience members having to maintain social distancing throughout their time in the venue.
In these unprecedented times we are delighted to announce the continuation of our annual pantomime tradition – presenting a galaxy of stars in Pantoland at The Palladium, an all-new celebration of festive cheer, charm and campery from 12 December 2020! pic.twitter.com/cdbUxw9nzy
— Pantoland at The London Palladium (@PalladiumPanto) October 9, 2020
The performance has been made possible due to a National Lottery initiative that will fund the cost of the number of empty seats required to make social distancing possible.
The news will come as a welcome reprieve to the 200 staff and numerous performers who will be able to work over the Christmas period, however the initiative has come under fire by many in the regional theatre circuit that are complaining that, once again, London is the focus of support measures leaving the rest of the country in the grip of the continuing coronavirus pandemic and the financial deterioration that it continues to cause.
Furthermore, a number of members of the public have taken to Twitter to express both their concern and confusion that this performance can take place whilst sporting events and other are not allowed to continue at the current time.
One user wrote, “… I’m genuinely confused, how can pantos go ahead indoors but you can’t have limited numbers of fans attending outdoor football matches?! Baffling!”
Great news! 👏🏻 Though I’m genuinely confused, how can pantos go ahead indoors but you can’t have limited numbers of fans attending outdoor football matches?! Baffling!
— Martin Larmour (@martin0885) October 9, 2020
Another expressed their concern of the consequences should social distancing not be maintained by audience members. They wrote, “I’d rather not pay for a chance to catch a potentially fatal disease thanks.”
I’d rather not pay for a chance to catch a potentially fatal disease thanks.
— Christopher Henry (@Christo75118472) October 9, 2020
With another user simple explaining, “How is this happening then? I don’t understand!!!”
How is this happening then ? I don’t understand !!!😩
— Maureen Smart (@MaureenSmart) October 9, 2020
It is as yet unclear whether the Palladium intends to reach a broader audience by utilising streaming technology to reach a wider audience and increase revenue but either way most theatre fans are excited to have some semblance of normality back in their lives.
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