Statement From Cameron Mackintosh
London theatre news: Wednesday 17 June 2020
Coronavirus - London West End - National Theatre
Return of LES MISÉRABLES, MARY POPPINS, HAMILTON and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA delayed until as early as practical in 2021.
There's more news from the West End and it isn't very heartening for musical theatre fans ...
Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres announced today that productions of LES MISÉRABLES, MARY POPPINS, HAMILTON and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA will be delayed until as early as practical in 2021.
Producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh said:
"This decision is heart-breaking for me, as I am sure it is for my employees, as everyone who has worked with me over the last 50 years, on or off the stage, knows how much I care about what I do and how I do it.
Despite the government engaging with the desperate pleas from everyone in the theatre industry, so far there has been no tangible practical support beyond offers to go into debt which I don't want to do.
Their inability to say when the impossible constraints of social distancing will be lifted makes it equally impossible for us to properly plan for whatever the new future is.
This has forced me to take drastic steps to ensure that I have the resources for my business to survive and enable my shows and theatres to reopen next year when we are permitted to.
I have no investors or venture capital backing, everything is funded by me personally and already my companies' considerable reserves have been massively reduced by the complete closure of our industry everywhere.
Everything I have made has come from the theatre and everything I have has gone back into these magnificent historic buildings that I have lovingly restored and the spectacular productions I have painstakingly insisted remain in tip top shape wherever they play in the world - resulting in my being one of the biggest employers in the theatre.
The commercial theatre provides billions of pounds of revenue to the Economy.
It is time this is recognised and the government takes action to ensure this priceless resource at which the British people excel is helped to survive.
Without our theatres being ablaze with life, London cannot properly reopen as one of the World's greatest cities."
A process of consultation over potential redundancies for all employees on the relevant productions is now starting.
Ticket holders for the productions will be contacted by the box office, or their original point of purchase, and offered a credit voucher which can be used for priority booking when new booking dates are announced, or a refund.
Return dates will be planned for as early as practical next year allowing for advice and guidance from the Government including, and subject to social distancing requirements being completely removed for theatres.
As Sir Cameron previously said, it will likely take several months of preparation for each production to be remounted.
About London theatre news from ActDrop
We cover all kinds of news stories about theatre in the London area including items about West End, Fringe, Off West End and other venues, as well as new shows coming to the capital, theatre events like scratch nights, theatre festivals and other interesting theatre news that can't be so easily classified!
We'd love to hear from you if you have a news story we can share with theatre-goers.
If you are a producer, PR agent or a representative of a theatre company, we have a special page just for you.
And thanks for visiting ActDrop!