The Kings Theatre is delaying Peter Pan pantomime to 2021 - but it will host a Pompey Panto this year

The Kings Theatre has announced that it is having to postpone its planned Peter Pan pantomime to 2021.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 11:50 am
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 1:47 pm
Jack Edwards as Widow Twankey in last year's panto Aladdin Picture: Sarah Standing (120819-2943)

Following the enforced closure of theatres due to the lockdown, the show has been pushed back 12 months.

Peter Pan will now run from Saturday, November 27 until Friday, December 31, 2021, and Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis will still star in the production.

However, that doesn’t mean that Portsmouth will be left without a pantomime for this year.

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The Kings Theatre, in Albert Road, Southsea. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Kings Theatre will be putting on a version of Dick Whittington starring Pompey’s favourite Dame, Jack Edwards alongside a host of local favourites.

The Pompey Panto will run from Saturday, November 28 until Thursday, December 31.

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Jack Edwards said: ‘Peter Pan will be back with the irrepressible John Challis next year bigger and better and we can’t wait!

‘As someone who is born and bred here, loves the Kings so much, and has the pleasure of playing Pantomime Dame every year, it is a huge privilege that we can bring you Dick Whittington as our 2020 ‘Pompey Panto’.

‘I can’t wait to bring all the elements that we know and love including the brilliant 12 days of Christmas, (don’t forget your toilet rolls).

‘Once again thank you for allowing us to entertain you and for being such a brilliant and loyal audience. We will bring you something very special this year and something to look forward too?’

Kings Theatre CEO, Paul Woolf added: ‘Team Kings will not be defeated! Let other venues cancel panto but not us. We are at the heart of the Pompey community and after all the heartache of lockdown we want to give you the opportunity to have some fun

‘And we are going to deliver that in buckets full!

‘We are putting on the Pompey Panto. All tickets are £20 and there are 6 designated schools performances with tickets for School and Education Groups at just £10.25 each.

‘We’re also putting on a free performance for NHS and key workers on Wednesday 2 December with tickets available by ballot. We’ll be releasing details of how to apply for tickets in July.

‘We are limiting the audience numbers to 400 per show to comply with social distancing and if the government relax off the rules we will extend the capacity.

‘So come on Pompey buy a ticket, and please show your support for our beautiful theatre, and join us for what will be a fantastic show as well as enjoying our new stalls flooring – yes we did listen.

‘Oh and if for any reason we are not allowed by the government to put on the show we guarantee a refund of the ticket price.’

Tickets for Dick Whittington go on sale at midday today.

Before opening the Kings will be undertaking a series of measures to ensure the safety and comfort of our customers:

- The Theatre is undertaking a deep clean of the venue and has an increased daily cleaning regime

- Staff training will be undertaken so that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and the hygiene routines to be followed

- All staff will be supplied with PPE as needed

- Free face masks will be available for audience members on request

- Non-contact temperature checks will apply to all staff, performers and customers

- Hand sanitisers will be available at entrances and throughout the building for staff, performers and customers

- Screens are being fitted for public areas serving our customers including Box Office, merchandise and confectionary counters.

- Panto audiences will be limited to ensure safe social distancing measures can be complied with

- Crowd control measures including audience entrance and exit and flow through the venue, to toilets, bars, exit etc. will be implemented

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