Portsmouth theatre forced to pull the plug on February showing of Dick Whittington

HOPES of staging a pantomime at a popular city theatre have been dashed after venue bosses were forced to pull the plug on the show.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:53 pm

Southsea’s Kings Theatre has been forced to cancel plans to ‘remount’ its run of Dick Whittington due to the latest coronavirus lockdown.

The show had been cut short in December and bosses at the Kings had hoped to resume the panto over the February half-term.

But in a statement on the Albert Road venue’s Facebook page, the theatre’s chief executive, Paul Woolf, admitted ‘sadly this cannot happen now’.

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Pictures of chief executive Paul Woolf at the Kings Theatre, Portsmouth. Picture: Roger Arbon/Solent News & Photo Agency

‘I am really proud that the Kings was able to put it on for 15 performances, have a special performance for key workers, and for streaming it to schools and care homes and subsequently putting the stream on public sale so we could still be a part of Pompey’s Christmas and New Year celebrations,’ added Mr Woolf on Facebook.

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‘It pains me to say that we will now be closed until at least the end of March. We’re talking to producers and performers to reschedule all that we can, and box office will be in touch with anyone holding tickets for shows that are affected.

‘Please be patient whilst we go through this process – our box office is on limited hours and working from home so may take longer to respond than normal.’

It’s the latest blow to the Southsea attraction, which has seen shows across the board cancelled due to the pandemic.

Despite the disappointing past few months, Mr Woolf insisted he remained optimistic about 2021.

He added: ‘I am still very positive about the future, and we are putting in place plans for an exciting line up for when we can open and a special Summer Season. Also, if it’s not too early to mention Christmas, we have Jack and the Beanstalk our 2021 Panto to look forward to.

‘Let’s hope we are all in the final push to getting on top of this crisis and we can all emerge in the Spring happy, healthy and raring to get back to enjoying a night at the theatre.

‘We look forward to seeing you back at the Kings as soon as we open.’

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