Andrew Pollard and Anthony Spargo
Andrew Pollard and Anthony Spargo will now perform Queen of Hearts at Easter

Greenwich Theatre has postponed this year’s pantomime, Queen of Hearts, because it will not be “financially viable” to stage it with current social distancing measures.

The theatre now plans to put on the show at Easter, and is planning a “socially-distanced festive production” for this Christmas. Ticketholders will be rebooked to dates at Easter, but can transfer to November 2021’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves or donate their money to help the theatre.

At present, ticketholders are being asked not to contact the theatre and to wait for the box office to get in touch.

The postponement will be a huge blow to the theatre, which relies on income from the panto to support it through the rest of the year. Earlier this month, James Haddrell, the theatre’s artistic and executive director, told 853 that the return to live theatre would be “a huge celebration”.

In an email to ticketholders, Haddrell said delaying the panto was “the most heartbreaking decision we have had to make so far”.

He added: “That’s not to say that Christmas in Greenwich is cancelled – we’re working on an alternative theatrical celebration now – and we’ll be back with pantomime very soon.”

The panto’s writer and dame, Andrew Pollard, said: “I’m so saddened that we aren’t able to bring our usual fun and silliness to Greenwich this Christmas. Over the years we’ve become like a family – not only onstage but seeing familiar faces and families in the audience year after year.

“We may not be around this Christmas, but we look forward to entertaining friends and families old and new at Easter.”

Queen of Hearts will now run from 30 March to 25 April.

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