Norwich Theatre Royal and Playhouse cancel all shows ‘until further notice’
PUBLISHED: 12:41 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 18 March 2020
Norwich Theatre chief executive Stephen Crocker has announced that all shows at their venues will be called off until further notice.
The decision comes after bosses were forced to cancel Monday’s night showing of Les Miserables, following prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement urging people to “work from home and avoid pubs and theatres”.
Due to the new guidance being issued so close to the performance, the building had already filled up and Mr Crocker described his sadness that he had to “go and disappoint them” on Radio Norfolk.
Mr Crocker has now issued a statement for all three of the Norwich Theatre venues, which were given a new umbrella name in January, the Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two.
Mr Crocker said: “The safety of everyone who works at or visits Norwich Theatre and its three venues is of paramount importance and as an organisation we stand firm in our support of all efforts to combat COVID-19/Coronavirus.
“In light of the advice to the public issued by the government on Monday, March 16, it is with regret that I announce that planned performances at Theatre Royal, Playhouse and Stage Two will not take place until further notice.
“Learning & Participation activities will take place as usual for now, though please check our website and social media for updates. Participants will be directly informed of any changes if necessary.”
Customers are urged not to contact the box office as they are “currently working with a large number of promoters and producers to explore all options” and will update as soon as they can.
He had also expressed his frustration at the government on Twitter for leaving “theatres high and dry” by only urging people not to go to the venues and not introducing an outright ban, causing difficulties claiming insurance, and he has since written Norfolk MPs.
Mr Crocker added: “Thank you in advance for your patience as this could take some weeks as we also, at the same time, look to abide by the Government’s guidance to us as an employer which will mean running a skeleton and dispersed box office team shortly.
“I believe that times of crisis can make us stronger in the end if we all look after each other.”