Hamilton, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, and Phantom of the Opera will reopen in 2021
The decision comes as a result of the COVID-19 social distancing measures currently in place.
Cameron Mackintosh, his producing partners, and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres will delay the reopening of Hamilton, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, and The Phantom of the Opera in the West End until 2021, the producer announced on Wednesday. The decision comes in response to the current social distancing measures in place due to COVID-19, and the uncertainty as to when these restrictions will be lifted. As a result, the team is exploring potential redundancies for all employees working on these shows.
"This decision is heart-breaking for me, as I am sure it is for my employees, as everyone who has worked with me over the last 50 years, on or off the stage, knows how much I care about what I do and how I do it," Mackintosh said in a statement. "Despite the government engaging with the desperate pleas from everyone in the theatre industry, so far there has been no tangible practical support beyond offers to go into debt which I don't want to do. Their inability to say when the impossible constraints of social distancing will be lifted makes it equally impossible for us to properly plan for whatever the new future is. This has forced me to take drastic steps to ensure that I have the resources for my business to survive and enable my shows and theatres to reopen next year when we are permitted to. I have no investors or venture capital backing, everything is funded by me personally and already my companies' considerable reserves have been massively reduced by the complete closure of our industry everywhere."
Anyone who has booked tickets to these four shows will be contacted by the box office or their point of purchase and will be offered a credit voucher or a refund for their ticket price. There is no return date set, but the reopening dates will be scheduled for as early as practical in 2021, following the Government guidelines. These shows will not return until social distancing guidelines have been completely removed from theatres.
"Everything I have made has come from the theatre and everything I have has gone back into these magnificent historic buildings that I have lovingly restored and the spectacular productions I have painstakingly insisted remain in tip top shape wherever they play in the world - resulting in my being one of the biggest employers in the theatre," Mackintosh said. "The commercial theatre provides billions of pounds of revenue to the Economy. It is time this is recognised and the government takes action to ensure this priceless resource at which the British people excel is helped to survive. Without our theatres being ablaze with life, London cannot properly reopen as one of the World's greatest cities."
Originally published on