Plug pulled on theatre shows amid virus concerns

Plug pulled on theatre shows amid virus concerns

By Michael Upton | 24/03/2020

Plug pulled on theatre shows amid virus concerns
Cast members of Rotherham Teachers' Student Academy's Little Shop of Horrors in rehearsals for their upcoming shows at the Rotherham Civic Theatre.


SHOWS at Rotherham Civic Theatre have been cancelled for the forseeable future in the face of the ongoing coronavirus threat — and Sheffield’s Lyceum and Crucible are shut until further notice.

Theatre group RTSA, which was due to stage Little Shop of Horrors from tonight and whose members are pictured in rehearsal, announced on Tuesday that the show was off.

But publicity officer Hilary Pratt said there were hopes it could be rescheduled for the summer or later in the year.

“We had our dress rehearsal on Monday at which time we thought it was going ahead but they had closed the theatre until further notice,” she said.

“It’s a shame because it was a really good show and they have worked hard on it.

“The theatre is normally closed in August so if they are having this closure now they may open it then so some of these shows could be staged then.”

RTSA will now have to arrange to retrieve its costumes from the Civic and dismantle the stage set over the coming days, she said.

Rotherham Council’s assistant director for culture, sport and tourism, Polly Hamilton, said: “Unfortunately, due to the latest guidance issued from the Government around coronavirus, we have taken the decision to cancel this week's performances of Little Shop of Horrors with immediate effect.

“The theatres team will be contacting everyone who has booked the performance to arrange a credit or refund as a priority.

“Further updates on other performances will be provided shortly.”

Meanwhile, Sheffield Theatres scrapped the ongoing current runs of Coriolanus and Run Sister Run and said Cabaret would not open as planned on Tuesday.

The theatre group said in a statement: “Following the recommendation from the UK government yesterday (Monday), Sheffield Theatres will be closing to the public with immediate effect.

“All current performances (Run Sister Run, Coriolanus and Cabaret) have been cancelled and we will be cancelling future performances through to April 5.

“The café, Crucible Corner and our box office are also closed to the public until further notice.

“Our team are extremely busy at this challenging time.

“We ask that anyone with tickets for forthcoming shows bears with us — we will be in touch with you to arrange a refund in due course.

“For performances from April 5 onwards, we will continue to review and follow recommendations from the relevant authorities and will keep in touch with ticket holders.”

The World Snooker Championship is also under threat.

“We continue to liaise with the team at World Snooker and will provide an update on plans for this year's tournament as soon as it is available,” said the statement.

“If you are attending a future performance, our website and twitter pages will be updated regularly, please do keep checking our channels for the latest updates.

“We appreciate that these are worrying times for many people and thank you for your understanding as we continue to follow all available advice.

“We are sorry for any disappointment our closure will cause but we are committed to playing our part in helping people stay safe. Please look after yourselves and each other.”

Sheffield Jazz had previously said the planned The Ant Law Quartet gig at Crookes Social Club tonight would go ahead — but this was also scrapped on Tuesday morning, as well as all shows planned until the end of April.

The Nikki Iles Orchestra gig will be postponed to Friday, September 25, with further shows also set to be rearranged. Visit for updated details.

Vince Keddie from the jazz club said: “We very much regret having to take this step, especially in view of the financial repercussions for the musicians, and we would urge all our audience to try to compensate at this very difficult time for them by buying CDs, downloads and other merchandise from the musicians’ websites.”

The Showroom Cinema and Cineworld in Sheffield have both confirmed they are closed for screenings and events until further notice, while Leopold Square’s music events have been put on hold.