Guildhall panto postponed due to Coronavirus

The popular Christmas panto at Grantham Guildhall is the latest live production to fall victim to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Polka Dot Pantomimes, the production company planning this year's show - Jack And The Beanstalk - said it had been a "very difficult" decision to postpone the pantomime until Christmas 2021.

Customers who have already bought tickets are being contacted by the Guildhall box office and offered the options of a refund or transferring to next year to guarantee the best seats in the house.

The Guildhall is owned and managed by South Kesteven District Council.

Cllr Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, the Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said: "This has been a very difficult decision for Polka Dot Pantomimes and very disappointing for the Guildhall Arts Centre staff and patrons.

"However, with the long-term planning that is required to present a high-quality production it is sadly inevitable this year. Customer safety and customer experience, as well as protecting performers and staff, remain our priorities at this time."

The Grantham pantomime has become a festive tradition for thousands of families and was nominated for a Great British Pantomime award for last year's Cinderella.

Darren Maddison, from Polka Dot Pantomimes, said: "As producers we feel that our priority must be the health and welfare of our cast, crew, creative team, chorus, chaperones and all those who work at the Guildhall Arts Centre, as well as the ever loyal audiences that enjoy our pantomime each year.

"We believe a pantomime should be experienced in a packed auditorium with a large audience full of families and friends who can interact with the performers on stage.

"Cast and crew should also be able to work in close proximity to one another in the all-singing, all-dancing style that our pantos have become synonymous with - that is the beauty and tradition of pantomime.

"If we were unable to achieve that this year then we would not be doing the art form justice and would be short-changing our audiences. Therefore, postponing until next year feels like the most sensible, fair and safe option."