Cork Opera House has announced that this year’s pantomime will proceed despite audiences being reduced to 50 percent capacity per show.
In order to facilitate all of the patrons that have booked tickets, the Opera House will add an additional 26 shows to the run to adhere to capacity restrictions.
Following the announcement on Friday that capacity would be reduced to 50 percent for indoor events from December 7 until January 9, Cork Opera House had said it needed time to “regroup” and consult with the various stakeholders involved in this year's pantomime,.
The theatre had asked patrons to bear with them whilst they came to a decision.
“The great news is that we are going ahead," Cork Opera House CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson said today.
"It was touch and go for a few days while we established if it was actually possible for us to do it.
“However, the thought of cancelling the show was devastating to us all having put so much love and energy into it to this point.
"What this means is that 50 percent of our audiences can retain their tickets and they will be valid on the date that they booked.
“However, this will also mean that the remainder of our audiences will have to move to new dates.
“We know this is not ideal - but it’s the only way that all of our panto bookers will get to see the show.
“Our patrons have been so supportive so far, I’m confident that they will work with us in accommodating these changes.”
Patrons will be chosen to move by lottery.
Cork Opera House will contact all patrons who have been selected for new dates and will be working through moving these patrons show-by-show over the coming weeks.
“For now, there is no need to contact us, our box office team will be alerting you if there has been a change to your tickets,” Ms Gleeson said.
In order to facilitate 26 additional shows, the cast will undertake multiple shows on several dates, up to three shows on some days.
“Fortunately our show is slightly shorter this year, running at 75 minutes with no interval.
“We are very lucky to be able to add additional shows, but this does mean that our cast and staff will be working harder than ever before to ensure that this year’s panto goes ahead as planned.
“Panto is so important to our audiences.
“We feel that after the difficulties of recent years, it’s really important to find a way for families to retain their Christmas traditions of coming to the Cork Opera House panto.
“We are really excited to welcome our panto audiences back."
Restrictions will be in place at Cork Opera House, including mask wearing for all patrons in attendance.
Covid Vaccination Certs and ID checks will also be in place at the door for patrons aged 18 and over and there will be a queueing system in place once inside.