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Selladoor Worldwide to suspend its 2020 touring productions

Footloose at New Wimbledon Theatre
Footloose at New Wimbledon Theatre

Selladoor Worldwide has announced that it will suspend its 2020 touring productions – shifting the majority of shows to start in 2021. Major productions including Footloose, We Will Rock You, Madagascar the Musical, 9 to 5 the Musical and Bring It On will be postponed as a result of Covid-19.

The company that are behind productions such as Fame, Avenue Q and American Idiot – and operators of regional theatres in North Devon and Cambridgeshire, have confirmed they will temporarily close their offices during July and August to maximise government support during a period of extended inactivity.

Selladoor venues will extend the temporary closure of their venues until November with The Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple, The Landmark Ilfracombe and New Theatre Peterborough planning to reopen pre-pantomime season.

David Hutchinson CEO says “It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve taken the decision to postpone the majority of our productions into 2021 both in the UK and internationally. It’s taken our production team, creatives and partners years to put these productions together and we were so excited to share them with audiences this year. However, the uncertainty on when theatres will reopen, how and when we can develop audiences for our work and clarity on best practises for touring in a Covid world – we feel the odds are against us delivering shows in 2020.

With over 100 members of Selladoor staff to consider across our productions and venues operation, the priority at this uncertain time is to maximise our runway for relaunch and maintain as much resilience as we can to keep people within the business. At this juncture, pausing during the summer and maximising the support available is vital in sustaining a long period of inactivity. We are currently burning through our cash reserve at a very fast rate and it’s not sustainable for our organisation who are mainly reliant on box office.

Stuart Shanks Director of Venues says “It’s heart-breaking to have to extend the temporary closure of our theatres until the autumn, however, the safety of our audiences, colleagues and visiting companies is paramount. Having worked with the industry sector and considered all government advice and social distancing requirements, we don’t feel we will be able to reopen until November and therefore have been forced to make this regrettable decision.”

Theatres across the country are the lifeblood of communities, we need each other, now more than ever; and we hope that our loyal audiences will continue to support us, We cannot wait to welcome our audiences back into our foyers, bars and auditoria just in time to enjoy a wonderful pantomime season

Naomi James Head of Productions at Selladoor says “It has been a devastating decision to postpone productions further and lose almost all production activity for 2020, but given the lack of a clear roadmap to reopening theatres, it seems the most responsible way forward for our artists, creatives and patrons alike. Our worst case scenario quickly became our best case scenario and we hope that by moving everything into 2021, we give ourselves the best chance at being able to play our part in the rebuilding of our wonderful industry, when that time comes.

Selladoor has confirmed the following production postponements.

Footloose the Musical, due to open in April 2020 at Wimbledon New Theatre will now open at the earliest in Zurich Maag Music Hall November 2020 – with UK dates commencing from January 2021.

We Will Rock You, due to open in August 2020 in Cape Town Artscape Theatre, South Africa will now open in February 2021 at the Solaire Resort Manila, Philippines.

Madagascar the Musical, due to open in August 2020 at the Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand will now open Autumn 2021.

Bring It On the Musical, due to open June 2020 at the Birmingham Hippodrome is planning to open Autumn 2021.

9 to 5 UK Tour, due to open May 2020 at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is planning to open Spring 2021.


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