Following the Government announcement on December 3, which restricts capacity to 50pc at indoor live events, The Gaiety Theatre will cancel 50pc of tickets for every performance of The Little Mermaid taking place between December 7 to January 9, 2022.
The owner of the Gaiety Theatre and panto producer, Caroline Downey, said this has been a very difficult decision to make.
“In the Gaiety’s 150-year history, we have never before been forced to make such difficult decisions as this. For the last 20 months, families and children have done everything that has been asked of them.
“We in the Arts have done the same - opened safely, putting every protective measure in place to make the Theatre a safe and controlled environment,” she said.
Ms Downey said the theatre has not had an outbreak of Covid-19 cases since it reopened.
“Despite having no case numbers linked to the Theatre since we re-opened, we have been forced by the Government to turn away people who had very kindly chosen to support us. We now have no choice but to let them down.”
Ms Downey added that the theatre has decided to allow 50pc of the audience to see the show as it is the “lesser of two evils”. She said this move will keep the cast and crew in employment.
“Having explored every avenue to figure a way to avoid disappointing families and loyal customers, we have decided that it is the lesser of two evils to allow 50pc of the audience to see the show and keep the cast and crew in employment, rather than cancel the show completely,” she said.
Ms Downey said tickets have been selected on a “first come, first served basis” and will be refunded in full.
“The tickets have been selected on a first come, first served basis, based on the date the tickets were purchased.
"We are so very sorry to those families who bought their tickets in good faith and I’m sure they will feel disappointed and angry at this decision.
“I can assure you, we empathise with them and share their frustration at this entire situation. Monies will be refunded in full. We hope that despite this upsetting news, the public will continue to support the arts, wherever that may be,” she said.
To accommodate those patrons who are disappointed and who wish to come to the Gaiety Panto at a later date in January, The Gaiety Theatre has announced a very limited number of additional shows for The Little Mermaid for January 2022.
Patrons whose tickets were cancelled will be sent a pre-sale link should they wish to purchase tickets - with priority access to these additional shows before they are available to the general public.