COVID-19 UPDATE

Starburst Theatre and The Harlington announce postponement of Pantomime 2020

25th September 2020

Starburst Theatre and The Harlington today announce that our annual pantomime, performed by Starburst, will not go ahead as planned due to the uncertainty in government regulations in the coming months. There have been many changes in guidance and regulations for live performance during the Covid-19 pandemic and, although it has been extremely difficult, it is a joint decision to postpone the show until 2021.

A scheduled 32 shows, plus our annual ‘by invite only’ gala performance for local children with special needs, were due to be performed and it is extremely disappointing to everyone involved that we cannot bring the laughter and smiles that pantomime brings to so many this Christmas time. The pantomime also provides us with the opportunity to raise money, primarily through front of house merchandise sales, for Starburst Charity – supporting children in our local area with special needs and disabilities. This is another blow for our charity income which has been hit due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

The impact on theatres from Covid-19 has been overwhelming, and the challenge of producing such a large-scale show (including over 45 cast and crew) would not be possible with current guidance. Safety for all has been at the forefront of our decision making and, as our show is regularly attended by large groups such as schools and clubs, as well as families, it would not be viable with the restrictions on social distancing inside The Harlington.

“To have been a staple part of the festivities in fleet for the past few years, it is incredibly sad that we have to stop production on this year’s pantomime. All we can hope is that our teams and our audiences stay safe and flock back to theatres, once it is safe to do so, to help mend the immense damage that this pandemic has caused to the arts and culture industry” said Max Topliss, joint Theatre Director at Starburst.

 

Future Productions

Starburst Theatre have not quite closed the script on 2020 just yet though, so please look out for future productions and we will be back in 2021, bigger than ever, for a fun packed pantomime to warm everyone’s hearts!

“We are really saddened to have to postpone the pantomime this year. The creative team have so many great ideas that we can hopefully bring to the stage in the not so distant future. Keep your eyes peeled for the Starburst logo, because we will be back up and running before you know it” commented Josh Prentice-Raine, joint Theatre Director at Starburst.

 

Alex Robins, General Manager of The Harlington said “The Harlington team loves Christmas, from customers to the festive events it brings into our building. A large part of that holiday cheer comes from Starburst and our annual Pantomime; their community spirit is heartwarming - with the added bonus of profits going to local children with special needs. Although this announcement won’t be a surprise given the current government advice, the reality is unless venues can run at a higher capacity, or customers feel confident, some shows are simply not financially viable. We see how much dedication Starburst put into their shows so it is going to be a great loss to us and our staff. As a venue the devastating impact of coronavirus in the entertainment industry has been crushing, however we will continue to work with our producers to find other ways to produce creative content safely. Please do keep checking both ours and Starburst’s website for up to date information.”

Starburst Charity

Starburst Charity raises money through the Front of House sales at the pantomime and our annual Black-Tie Ball. Sadly, we have also had to postpone out Ball this year, but the Charity team are still working behind the scenes to plan some amazing fundraising events in 2021. We have reluctantly had to pause applications at this time as, due to social distancing measures, we are unable to complete these individual requests. We hope to resume as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

If you would like to donate to Starburst Charity, then please find details on how to do so at www.starburstfoundation.com

 

For more information, press only:

Leanne McDermid (Marketing Director)

leanne.mcdermid@starburst-foundation.org.uk

 

For more information, non-press:

theatre@starburstfoundation.com

For more information on Starburst Charity:

www.starburstfoundation.com

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