LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Noted theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh announced that four of the West End’s most successful productions – Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, Hamilton, and The Phantom of the Opera, are going on hiatus until at least 2021 due to the coronvirus.
As well, Mackintosh, and his producing partners and Delfont Mackintosh Theatres, have begun weighing potential layoffs for all employees, including cast.
“This decision is heartbreaking 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.
“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,” he added.
All customers who have purchased tickets for affected shows will be contacted directly by the box office, or their original point of purchase, and offered a credit voucher which can be used for priority booking when new booking dates are announced, or a refund.
He also cautioned that once social distancing requirements have been lifted, it will take several months to ramp up productions, as well as “time for audience confidence and advance sales to build.”