“It is with heavy hearts that we have had to postpone our Joburg Theatre Cinderella pantomime this year until 2021,” informs Joburg City Theatres’ Chief Executive Officer, Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema. “We assessed associated risks, the practicality under the current restrictions and the protection of our audiences and staff members is of paramount importance. We can only hope that by late next year, Covid-19’s virus curve will be flattened or the virus will be completely eliminated.”
Janice Honeyman’s pantomime Cinderella was to have been presented on The Nelson Mandela Theatre stage from October 31st to December 20th 2020. The popular festive season family spectacular has been postponed and will now be on stage from November 6th to December 24th 2021. It is very much hoped that all the company members already announced for 2020 will be able to return to the show for the 2021 season.
Under current Covid-19 government guidelines allowing for the re-opening of theatres during this level 3 lockdown with an audience capacity of 50 persons or less and a limitation on performers and crew to a maximum of 15 persons, it had become completely impractical for the theatre to move forward with the pantomime
Additionally, the theatre and the show’s producers would – for the foreseeable future – need to facilitate social distancing. They could not envisage how they would manage to achieve this for a pantomime production even at rehearsals, let alone performances.
“Not doing the panto? It leaves a huge hole in my theatre-year, and in the actors’, creative team members’ and, of course, the audiences’ lives,” bemoans writer and director of the pantos, Janice Honeyman. “We’ve had such fun over so many years, but this year, for the safety of the public and ourselves, we’ll have to sacrifice that fun for the time being. It’s ultimately for the best.”
“This will be only the third year since 1987 that the wonderful tradition of a Janice Honeyman panto will not be seen in Joburg,” states Bernard Jay, the pantomimes’ executive producer since 2000. “We are saddened that circumstances in the world around us do not allow this year for our show to bring its usual joy to so many theatregoers of all age groups.”
“But let us come back together in 2021 with renewed enthusiasm and create the biggest and best Joburg Theatre pantomime ever,” adds the theatre’s Nduneni-Ngema.
Ticketholders for the 2020 season of Cinderella will be contacted directly by Joburg Theatre and advised of the date and time in 2021 for which their seats are now being held for them, or – if requested – how they obtain refunds. Meanwhile, tickets for the 2021 season will be on sale from July 20th 2020 through www.joburgtheatre.com