For many, Christmas and the festive season are synonymous with an annual outing to the Pantomime. Every year the Waterfront Hall Studio welcomes over 25,000 patrons to its performances. A yuletide tradition for friends and families, the Pantomime brings together theatre goers young and old to create magical, lifelong memories.
Preparations were well underway for GBL Productions, producers of the Waterfront Hall Studio and Armagh Marketplace Theatre & Arts Centre Pantomimes. However, due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty around the Executive’s timescales for the relaxation of social distancing measures, both the traditional Pantomime and newly introduced ‘adult Panto’ will not take place as planned.
Performances of the timeless fairy tale, Cinderella, by Gary Crossan were due to run from December through to the new year. Following the success of Belfast’s first ever adult panto in 2019, producers were also looking forward to bringing their brand-new show, Cinder on Tinder, by Diona Doherty and Sean Hegarty, to Belfast audiences. Both the much-loved family classic Pantomime and audacious-yet-hilarious adult Panto will instead be rescheduled to 2021.
Liam McMullan, Producer at GBL Productions
“Panto helps our industry throughout the year and not just at Christmas. To adhere to government guidelines on social distancing we made the difficult decision to postpone the pantomimes. The entire team were all looking forward to bringing Cinderella and Cinder on Tinder to the studio stage at Waterfront Hall, but the health and safety of our customers and staff are our top priority. We are sending all our love and best wishes to everyone who is involved in, performs, creates and attends our pantos.”
Julia Corkey, CEO ICC Belfast | Waterfront Hall | Ulster Hall
“It is very disappointing to reschedule our popular panto season, however the safety of patrons and staff is, and will remain, our top priority. We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for patrons, producers, performers and staff. Our venues are at the heart of live entertainment in Belfast. In partnership with GBL Productions, we look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2021 for what is set to be a magical production.”
The 2021 GBL Productions’ Pantomime promises to be a spectacular show to make up for the lost buzz and bustle of this year’s performances in the Waterfront Hall Studio.
All 2020 tickets will remain valid for the 2021 Pantomime season. The Waterfront Hall team will contact all lead bookers by email to confirm rescheduling of dates.
Cinderella and Cinder On Tinder will be back better than ever when we most need it, to enchant the kids and grown-ups alike and give us something we may be missing at the moment: laughter in the belly.