Grand Opera House, York, suspends all shows with immediate effect, but Tom’s Midnight Garden goes ahead tonight at Theatre @41 Monkgate

Lights out: Ellen Kent Company’s La Boheme at the Grand Opera House on Friday falls victim to Coronavirus social contact measures

THE Grand Opera House, York, is suspending all shows with immediate effect in light of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Coronavirus statement to “avoid unnecessary social contact”.

Mark Cornell, group chief executive officer of the Ambassador Theatre Group, the theatre’s owners, has issued a group-wide statement. “In response to the Prime Minister’s statement this evening, advising the UK public to avoid unnecessary social contact, including in theatres, we regret to inform you that shows in all Ambassador Theatre Group UK venues are temporarily suspended with immediate effect,” he said.

“We understand that this decision comes as a disappointment, and a massive inconvenience for those of you already on the way to a venue this evening, but ultimately we all want the same thing: the health and safety of our communities, and we believe this is the correct decision to make.”

Mr Cornell’s statement continued: “Given the current ambiguity and lack of clarity as to how long our theatres may be closed for, we hope to provide you with an update within the next 48 hours regarding the exchange of tickets. We will be consulting with industry bodies including the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre and the government over the immediate future. 

“For now, we would like to thank you for your understanding and patience, and to recognise the incredible efforts and support of producers, artists, partners and customers over this difficult period.”

The Grand Opera House has no show tonight, but Round The Horne is in the diary for Wednesday; Psychic Sally, 10 Years And Counting for Thursday; Ellen Kent Company’s La Boheme for Friday and Madama Butterfly for Saturday, and the musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for March 24 to 28.

Meanwhile, Tom Bird, executive director of York Theatre Royal, was holding a meeting this evening. A statement will follow.

Still on…then off: Jimmy Dalgleish as Tom, left, Olivia Caley as Hattie and Jack Hambleton asTom in Pick Me Up Theatre’s Tom’s Midnight Garden. Picture: Matthew Kitchen

Tonight’s 7.30pm performance of Tom’s Midnight Garden at the John Cooper Studio, Theatre @41 Monkate, York IS going ahead, but Pick Me Up Theatre artistic director Robert Readman will call off this week’s run after that.

His Twitter statement at 6.38pm this evening read: “In light of the Government’s latest measures, we will be closing Tom’s Midnight Garden after tonight’s show. Do come if you have tix for another day and we will accommodate as many as possible. We are also sad to announce the postponement of Sondheim 90 and The Pirates Of Penzance. “

Sondheim 90: A Birthday Concert, in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday was to have taken place on Sunday; Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates Of Penzance from April 17 to 25, both at 41 Monkgate.