It draws a crowd of more the 31,000 annually.
Thanks to Covid-19 however, The Everyman Christmas panto Aladdin has been cancelled for the first time in three decades due to concerns over social distancing.
In a statement issued by the theatre and CADA Performing Arts Academy, the team explained that currently, indoor gatherings are permissible for up to 50 people, with the expectation that this will increase from August 10th.
“Even with an easing of restrictions, it is unrealistic to successfully programme a show as complex as the annual pantomime under the 2m social distancing measures, which would allow for a maximum of 85 people in the auditorium of The Everyman at one time, including the artists on stage,” they said.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of our 2020 pantomime,” said Sean Kelly, Executive Director of The Everyman.
“This is the first time in three decades that there won’t be a panto on The Everyman stage at Christmas. We really wish we didn’t have to disappoint our audiences like this but panto is an extremely expensive undertaking and under the current restrictions it is simply not possible to go ahead.
Tough times for theatre crew
“The panto represents 20% of the theatre’s annual income and is also a vital source of employment for local performers and creatives so it’s a huge blow to a great many people. We are determined that our panto will return in 2021 and be more spectacular than ever.”
The cancellation is another setback for The Everyman with far-reaching implications. Each year, the panto provides a significant share of The Everyman’s annual income which also helps to subsidise the theatre’s non-commercial work, supporting artists and the development of new productions. Moreover, The Everyman pantomime provides annual employment for almost 100 people – artists, creatives, musicians and crew – who are hugely reliant on the three-month period of income.