Eden Court theatre in Inverness postpones money-spinning Christmas pantomime until next year
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Theatre bosses at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness have taken the "incredibly difficult decision" to postpone this year's money-spinning pantomime due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The show – Cinderella – will be staged next year instead.
The decision represents a huge financial blow for the theatre but chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said the financial implications and the safety of customers and staff made it necessary.
It follows careful consideration and a thorough consultation between Eden Court and its pantomime producer, Imagine Theatre.
"The importance of this decision has weighed heavily on my shoulders for many months," Mr Mackenzie-Blackman said.
"I have wanted to wait as long as possible before deciding but we can now not delay any further and have to face the reality that there are too many factors that make the delivery of pantomime impossible."
The income from the theatre's annual Christmas extravaganza accounts for one third of the entire year’s box office profit.
Last year’s production, Beauty and the Beast, was its most successful, bringing over 36,000 people to the venue over its 51 performances.
Steven Wren, director, co-writer and dame of the Eden Court pantomime, said he would be sad not to spend Christmas in Inverness.
"The Eden Court staff have become true friends over the years and the Highland audiences are just the very best," he said.
"I can guarantee that when Cinderella finally gets to the ball in 2021 it’s going to be one giant party for all of us performers and most importantly, our loyal audiences."
Customers who have booked tickets to Cinderella will hear from Eden Court staff in due course.
Tickets will be valid for Cinderella 2021 at a rescheduled date, with the same seats. Customers unable to attend will be able to claim either a gift voucher or full refund back to the original payment method.
More on this story in today's Inverness Courier.
Related story: Live performances cancelled at Eden Court until December