Published: 08:08, 04 August 2020
| Updated: 12:46, 04 August 2020
The show will go on this Christmas with a Covid-safe staging of panto favourite Jack And The Beanstalk.
Families will be able to share the seasonal fun at The Stag theatre in Sevenoaks when the much-loved tale comes to life on stage from December 18 to January 3.
More than 250 tickets have already been sold for the socially-distanced show, jokily titled Jack And The Two Metre Beanstalk, which will take place in front of a significantly reduced audience thanks to coronavirus safety precautions.
Empty seats in front, behind and to the sides of each family who attend mean the auditorium will only hold around one third of normal capacity.
A statement on the panto website says: "Some things have had to change to make this year’s show financially viable, so as well as a smaller cast and smaller budgets, the show will be shorter too.
"Jack And The Beanstalk will be approximately 90 minutes long with no interval - just the right length for a festive family treat, but without the break in between, which makes social distance planning a little tricky."
Cast members will be making sacrifices to ensure the run goes smoothly. They will be tested for the virus in November and then self isolate for ten days prior to rehearsals beginning.
They will then create a 'bubble' between their household and the show, giving up Christmas and New Year celebrations, and avoiding restaurants, bars and shops during the festive period.
The news that a Sevenoaks panto will go ahead this year comes as Kent’s biggest pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury has been cancelled for the first time ever amid uncertainty surrounding the reopening of theatres because of social distancing.
Tunbridge Wells' panto is also off this Christmas, with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Assembly Hall Theatre now not going ahead until 2021.