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The Marlowe in Canterbury postpones Christmas pantomime until January

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Kent's biggest theatre has postponed its pantomime until January - after the government today confirmed the county will be remaining in Tier 3.

The Marlowe in Canterbury has sold more than 14,000 tickets for Nurse Nellie Saves Panto - a “fun size” festive show that was originally set to run between December 11 and January 3, for socially-distanced audiences.

The Nurse Nellie Saves Panto cast. Picture: The Marlowe
The Nurse Nellie Saves Panto cast. Picture: The Marlowe

But as theatres were forced to remain closed when the county was plunged into Tier 3 restrictions, The Marlowe pushed its opening date to December 19.

And today, following confirmation the county will be remaining in this highest tier, the theatre has now postponed its pantomime until January 2.

It is now pinning its hopes on Kent being placed in a lower tier, when regional restrictions are reviewed after Christmas.

The Marlowe's chief executive, Deborah Shaw, said: "It’s such a shame that theatres have to remain closed in Tier 3, as the industry has been working incredibly hard over the past few months to make our spaces Covid- secure in accordance with strict government guidelines.

"Our overarching desire is to be 100% ready to perform if Kent drops into Tier 2 at the January review point.

"There’s a very slim chance, we know, but as it’s the legendary Marlowe Theatre pantomime, and we believe so passionately in the restorative power of live theatre and a good laugh, we’re not giving up until the-fat-bloke-in-a-dress sings.

The Marlowe Theatre
The Marlowe Theatre

"The show is fully rehearsed and our wonderful cast are raring to go. The only ingredient missing now is the audience.

"We’ve put extra special care into preparing our auditorium for social distancing and we want to be there for our panto audiences if we possibly can, at the end of such a difficult year.“

Those whose tickets are affected by the change of opening date will be contacted directly by the theatre team over the next few days.

Nurse Nellie Saves Panto has already been filmed for streaming into care homes across the region, and disappointed ticket holders will now also be offered the opportunity to see the digital version at home.

Those who have booked for shows in January can hold on to their tickets in the knowledge that they will be entitled to a refund or credit voucher- plus the opportunity to see the digital version - should any scheduled performance not take place.

Tickets can be booked through the theatre's website or by calling The Marlowe’s Box Office team on 01227 787787.

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