The Old Vic has cancelled all performances of Endgame, a major Samuel Beckett revival starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming. It started its run on 27 January and was due to continue until 28 March.
In an email to Endgame ticket holders, the theatre stated: “Given the new travel and other restrictions in place, it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre.
”We are very sympathetic to people’s personal circumstances, as we are to the audiences who are still excited to visit the theatre and see our productions. We are also extremely aware of our employees’ financial dependence on work being presented and tickets being purchased.
“So it is with great sadness that we have had to decide to suspend the presentation of Endgame in a double bill with Rough for Theatre II for the next two weeks, which is the remainder of its run.”
The theatre urged those who had purchased tickets to consider donating the cost back to the organisation.
It said: “The Old Vic operates in an unusual way for a non-commercial theatre in that it has no Arts Council support. Instead it is completely dependent on philanthropic donations, sponsorship and ticket sales.
”We now need your help more than ever.”
The Young Vic theatre followed suit on Monday, cancelling all remaining performances of Nora: A Doll’s House over coronavirus concerns.
The production, a reimagining of Henrik Ibsen‘s classic play, was due to run until March 21.
A statement on the website of the Old Vic’s sister venue said: "The health and wellbeing of our audiences and staff will always be our priority.”
The Young Vic’s management also asked theatre-goers to consider donating the price of their ticket to the venue “to help us get through this period”.
The Arcola, in east London, suspended all public performances until further notice. The theatre announced that “we do not believe that it is practical or responsible for us to stage shows while people’s lives are at risk”.
The Turbine theatre, which opened at Battersea Power Station last summer, has cancelled all performances until 18 April. It was scheduled to present Amy Booth-Steel’s solo performance, #HonestAmy. Director Kathy Burke said they were “hoping to relaunch [the show] later in the year”.
The Bunker cancelled a week of performances that featured almost 100 artists and was due to start on Monday.
“This is not a decision taken lightly,” it said. “We have spent months organising this week; at the last count we had 94 people involved in our week and to have to cancel the day before we begin is soul-destroying. But we have to put our artists’ safety first.”
The Finborough theatre postponed two forthcoming productions. Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad, originally scheduled to open on 31 March, will now begin performances on 2 February 2021. Women Without Men, which had been due to open on 28 April, will be delayed until 11 August.
In Scotland, St Andrews’ Byre theatre cancelled all performances and public events until the end of May.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to discuss the banning of mass gatherings at a meeting on Monday.
Additional reporting by PA.
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