‘Well, we’ll have to do it again then won’t we?’ - postponed panto promises to be back at the Alban Arena next year

PUBLISHED: 12:52 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:04 16 September 2020

St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

Pamela Raith

St Albans’ popular pantomime will not be taking place this Christmas, but promises to return in style for 2021.

Ian Kirkby, Bob Golding and Andy Day in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithIan Kirkby, Bob Golding and Andy Day in St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

The Alban Arena has confirmed that the annual event, which attracts huge audiences and often sells out months in advance, will not be going ahead this year due to the pandemic, with the production of Mother Goose postponed until next year.

Panto legend Bob Golding said: “Well, it’s utterly heartbreaking for all of us.

“We take great pride in bringing the best possible panto production to the Arena each year and our audiences have been so wonderful and very loyal.

“To put on such a high quality production would be financial suicide under present government guidelines. The decision has been made not to deliver a smaller, lower quality inferior production but instead deliver the usual professional standard pantomime next Christmas with all the bells and whistles.

St Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela RaithSt Albans pantomime Sleeping Beauty at The Alban Arena. Picture: Pamela Raith

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“I’m going to take the opportunity to spend a ‘one off’ Christmas with the family and enjoy what I usually miss out on.

“Obviously being unemployed is not a bright prospect so if anyone knows of any work, let me know!”

Paul Hendy of Evolution Pantomimes, who produce the show each year, said: “‘We have been producing pantomimes at the Alban Arena for the last 11 years and we’re incredibly proud of the reputation we’ve built for some of the best pantomimes in the country. We’re absolutely devastated not to be presenting a show this year but we hope the wonderful audiences in St Albans will understand the decision. We look forward to seeing everyone then.”

Panto star Ian Kirkby said: “I’m devastated the pantomime will not be going ahead this year especially for our fabulous and loyal audiences of St Albans but not least for my dear pal Bob Golding who would have been celebrating his 10th year as Dame.”

And EastEnders actress Rita Simons added: ”I have been lucky enough to be a part of St Albans panto twice. I am so sad for my two best panto buddies Bob and Ian that this year they don’t get to make St Albans cry with laughter. It just means next year will have to be extra brilliant...and it will be!“

The show was due to run from December 4 to January 3.

All tickets purchased will automatically be transferred to the new dates in 2021 and the local team will be in contact in the coming weeks via email with all ticket holders to confirm details and offer alternative options should they be required. As the box office team continue to work through communications they are asking people to please be patient and await contact and only if essential the team can be reached on TheatreTickets@1life.co.uk


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