Musical cancelled an hour before curtain up

THE musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert was cancelled at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking with just an hour to curtain up after all Ambassador Theatre Group venues were closed because of the coronavirus.

The decision, announced by Mark Cornell, the group’s CEO, followed a statement by the Prime Minister advising people in the country to avoid unnecessary social contact, including in theatres.

The musical, which was to have starred Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, was due to have run until Saturday.

Mr Cornell said that shows at ATG venues were suspended temporarily.

“Given the current ambiguity and lack of clarity as to how long our theatres may be closed for, we hope to provide you with an update within the next 48 hours regarding the exchange of tickets. We will be consulting with industry bodies including the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre and the government over the immediate future,” he said. 

Other shows scheduled for the New Victoria Theatre this month, including That’ll Be The Day, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Josh Widdicombe’s stand-up tour Bit Much… and Blood Brothers, are now in doubt

The closure also affects the Rhoda McGaw Theatre in the same complex. Legally Blonde, which was due to be performed by WAOS at the theatre in early May has now been postponed to November.

Other entertainment venues in and around Woking and in neighbouring towns are also likely to cancel or postpone events. Details of any changes will be available from box offices and phone numbers for venues are available on page 27.

The Lightbox Museum has closed until further notice.

A spokesman said: “The health and safety of the organisation’s visitors, volunteers and staff is their top priority and in light of the building’s closure, all Lightbox staff will be working remotely.

“The Lightbox will be rescheduling events that are due to take place over the coming months and will provide more details and new dates once confirmed. If you have booked tickets and are unable to attend the new dates or if The Lightbox is forced to cancel an event, refunds will be made available.”

RHS Wisley remains open but the library has been closed. All garden events and school visits have been cancelled until 30 June. A spokesman said it was hoped the flower show in September would go ahead.

For the full story and more closures of local events, see today’s News & Mail

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