Brunton Theatre calls on Government support to ease 'huge financial impact' after Covid regulations force Musselburgh panto to close early

​Despite exploring social distancing options ​M​usselburgh's Brunton Theatre have announced that, like Christmas productions across the Capital, their panto, Hansel and Gretel, will close after its performances on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:45 pm
The Brunton panto cast of Hansel & Gretel, Wendy Seager, Graham Crammond, Ross Donnachie, Eilidh Weir and Finlay Bain

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The theatre had hoped to be able to continue their run through until December 31 after the new Scottish Government restrictions were announced.

At the time a spokesperson said, “Scottish Government’s updated Covid-19 guidance stipulates that from 26 December for 3 weeks, indoor live events will be restricted to a maximum of 200 people with social distancing of ​one​ metre.

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​“The Brunton presented socially distanced live performances in 2020​. We are contacting all customers who have purchased tickets for one of our performances of Hansel and Gretel from 26 to 31 December 2021 with a view to assessing the viability of presenting socially distanced performances of Hansel and Gretel.​”

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The theatre has now, however, released an update confirming that socially distanced performances will not be possible and calling on financial support from the Scottish Government to assuage their loss of income.

The statement read, ‘The Scottish Government’s updated Covid-19 guidance (21 December 2021) stipulated that from 26 December 2021 for three weeks, indoor live events will be restricted to a maximum of 200 people with social distancing of one metre.

‘The Brunton theatre venue seats 296 and following the new guidelines could seat a maximum audience of circa 130 due to the size of households attending.

‘We had very much hoped to continue with socially distanced performances that would have met the new regulations. ​H​owever, following consultation and due to the rising number of cases of Covid, we have sadly decided to cancel our panto performances from 27-31 December. Hansel and Gretel will close after the shows on 24 December.’ ​T​he performance of Funbox: Santa's Pyjama Party at the East Lothian venue on December 27 has also been cancelled. ​

The statement continued, ‘The Brunton Theatre Trust, our staff , our pantomime company and Funbox are devastated that we have had to take this decision. However the safety of our audiences, panto cast & crew, performers and staff is paramount.​’​After another challenging year, this decision will have a huge financial impact on The Brunton. We very much hope that the Scottish Government’s financial support for the cultural sector will be available soon.​’​

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