Sleeping Beauty panto gets the go-ahead to entertain this Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Fans of panto will be delighted to discover that Sleeping Beauty, Chelmsford’s Christmas romp for 2020 will be taking place at the Civic Theatre from the end of November.
The pantomime has been given the go ahead to stage performances in a Covid-secure auditorium.
The Civic has never had to cancel a panto in the last 58 years and staff have been working hard to make everything is safe for audiences to return this Christmas.
The Civic Theatre is run by Chelmsford City Council and Deputy Leader Cllr Marie Goldman hopes Sleeping Beauty will be a lifeline to the city’s cultural scene at a devastating time: “The performing arts have been brought to the brink of ruin by coronavirus and we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to keep this vulnerable part of our economy going.
“As long as government restrictions allow, we’ll be going ahead with our panto this year, employing actors, musicians, and technicians to bring this festive production to our city.”
Only 30% of the seats in the main auditorium will be used to keep groups of theatregoers a safe distance apart, with a special seating plan to allow households of different sizes to sit together. A range of other measures, from one-way systems to extra cleaning between performances will also be in place, and masks will be mandatory for anyone who must wear them.
Despite these changes, the theatres’ artistic director Ian Knowles says this year’s show will be as much fun as ever: “Our number one priority is keeping our loyal audiences safe, but rest assured, we won’t be taking the joy out of panto in the process. The script has been written by Chris Jarvis of CBeebies and this new version of Sleeping Beauty will have as much sparkle as ever with uplifting songs, beautiful sets and plenty of laughs to get you in the Christmas spirit.”
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The annual Chelmsford panto is a co-production with ‘One From The Heart’, an experienced production company who’ve been creating pantomimes for Chelmsford Theatres for 14 years.
Theatre staff will be contacting customers who booked tickets for Sleeping Beauty before lockdown to allocate seats according to current COVID-19 restrictions. Once places for existing bookings have been filled, all remaining tickets will go on sale.
More details about the production will be released later this month on the Chelmsford City Theatres website and social media pages. Sleeping Beauty is planned to run between November 27 and January 3, 2021.