Theatre News: Pantomimes To Go Ahead Thanks To National Lottery Funding


Some pantomimes will be staged this Christmas thanks to funding from the National Lottery

Julian Clary, Nigel Havers and Beverley Knight will be part of Pantoland at the London Palladium, which will run from 12th December 2020 to 3rd January 2021. 

The National Lottery will financially support the scheme by buying seats which need to remain empty to allow for social distancing. 

Qdos, which is the UK’s biggest panto producer, had been planning to stage 34 shows across UK venues, with many cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden stated that the scheme would “get some panto back on this Christmas” in the face of a “challenging backdrop.”

Up to 250,000 tickets are set to be available with 20,000 free tickets going to National Lottery players. 

Nigel Railton, the chief executive of Camelot, which operates the National Lottery, stated that there would be challenges but the initiative was “undoubtedly worth a try.”

Michael Harrison, who is the director and producer of Pantoland at the Palladium, stated that the scheme was “a sticking plaster on a very big theatrical wound” and that, despite creating more than 200 jobs, “this is not a long-term fix, nor a solution to the tragic situation our industry is in.”

Words by Noah Keate.

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