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Aladdin cast left ‘heartbroken’ as the panto is cancelled due to Covid concerns

Producers had already postponed the show, but have since decided to cancel all performances
Alan Hughes, directs and plays Sammy Sausages in 'Aladdin' at the National Stadium. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Alan Hughes, directs and plays Sammy Sausages in 'Aladdin' at the National Stadium. Photo: Gerry Mooney.

Clodagh Meaney

Producers of Aladdin at the National Stadium have opted to cancel the remainder of their shows due to Covid-19 concerns.

"The pantomime, which began on December 9, initially postponed this week's shows before deciding to end the run for the safety of their loyal audience.

“We are absolutely devastated to have to say that due to further Covid-19 complications, Aladdin at The National Stadium, is unable to continue this year’s run,” a spokesperson said.

“We apologise wholeheartedly for any inconvenience and upset as we understand just how much our panto means to our loyal audience. We have tried everything in our power to keep going but we now accept that this is impossible.”

A spokesperson for the panto said that the cast and crew have been left “heartbroken” as they were eager to deliver the fabulous show to their fans.

“We have a duty of care to our cast, crew and of course you, our loyal audience, that we take very seriously. Please know this was not an easy decision and is beyond our control.”

“We appreciate your continued support and as we say Tanx a thousand and Happy Christmas.”

The team have asked that ticket holders be patient as their dedicated box office contacts them regarding their bookings.

Aladdin, which was produced by Karl Brodrick and starring husband Alan Hughes, the cast of Jake Carter, Emma Warren, Paul Ryder, Rob Murphy and Johnny Ward were joined by dancers and singers.

Taking to social media, Alan vowed to return next year with a bigger and better show.

“Heartbroken tonight to have to make this announcement.”

“Despite every safety measure in place we just don't know what the next few days and weeks will bring and safety for our cast, crew and our amazing panto fans is our number one priority.”

“We will be back bigger and better next year I promise.”

Speaking to Sunday World ahead of the panto’s run, Alan said that the industry would suffer this year.

“The panto industry is definitely going to suffer because of this, the panto industry only has one shot at this every year, it’s not like it’s a 12 month thing,” he said.

“It’s December and the start of January is the only time the panto industry thrives in this country and it’s been hit really badly.”

Alan and the team behind Aladdin preemptively put many measures in place to ensure the safety of their punters.

“We had already put into place that we would play to 60% occupancy because it’s a 2,000 seater, we’re only selling 700 tickets for every performance in case it went back to the 60% capacity.”

“So we had that contingency plan already, there’s social distancing in place, when you come in [you need to show] Covid certs, it’s social distancing at the bars, you have to wear masks when you go to the toilet and the shops.”

“We just feel this place is so safe for children and adults to come,” he added.

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