The Essex panto that will be going ahead in 2020

Chelmsford City Council have revealed the exciting news that the annual pantomime is going ahead this year.

The famous panto at the Civic Theatre has been going on for 58 years but, with the coronavirus pandemic, it was unsure up until now if the 2020 show would go ahead.

Events across the UK have been cancelled since March, with many Christmas ones already called off.

Theatres have been closed since the start of lockdown with only a few shows recently being allowed to restart.

However, the panto will go ahead, but will be slightly different from normal.

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Staying safe

Sleeping Beauty will be the Civic’s first live show since March, although they have been streaming some performances during lockdown.

In order to keep everyone safe, only 30 per cent of the auditorium will be filled.

A special seating plan has also been planned to make sure households of different sizes can all see the show, at a safe distance.

Other measures will also be introduced, including one-way systems and face masks for those who can wear them.

Announcing the good news, Deputy Leader of the council, Councillor Marie Goldman said: “The performing arts have been brought to the brink of ruin by coronavirus and we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to keep this vulnerable part of our economy going.

“As long as government restrictions allow, we’ll be going ahead with our panto this year, employing actors, musicians, and technicians to bring this festive production to our city.

“Our number one priority is keeping our loyal audiences safe, but rest assured, we won’t be taking the joy out of panto in the process.

“The script has been written by Chris Jarvis of CBeebies and this new version of Sleeping Beauty will have as much sparkle as ever with uplifting songs, beautiful sets and plenty of laughs to get you in the Christmas spirit.”

“A huge relief”

The panto is being produced by Daryl Back from ‘One From The Heart’, an experienced production company who’ve been creating pantomimes for Chelmsford Theatres for 14 years.

He said it is a huge relief that Sleeping Beauty has been given the green light.

“We’re incredibly grateful that Chelmsford City Council is bringing our production to Chelmsford this winter,” Daryl said.

“It’s the only pantomime we’re working on in 2020 and as well as bringing much-needed cheer to families, this run will ensure that talented actors, musicians and technical staff have a chance to be paid.

“It’s hard to overstate how difficult a year it’s been for performers and crews and they can’t wait to get started on Sleeping Beauty.”

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Anyone who purchased tickets for the panto before lockdown will be contacted by the theatre to allocate them seats.

Those wishing for a refund can also get this at any time.

After they have all been sorted, the remaining tickets will go on sale.

Sleeping Beauty is planned to run between November 27 and January 3. More details will soon be available on the Chelmsford City Theatres website.

Essex Live