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Panto postponed but ONFife promises it will be back bigger and better in 2021

05 August 2020

Over the last few months ONFife has been monitoring the situation in relation to theatre provision in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

Central to this has been the delivery of our annual panto and assessing how restrictions would impact the overall experience for customers.

As a result, like so many other cultural organisations and theatres, we are taking the difficult decision to suspend our plans for Snow White at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, this Christmas.

“December may seem a long way off but, despite the Scottish Government announcement this week that theatres can re-open from September 14 the impact of social distancing on audience numbers would remain significant and this coupled with public anxiety about attending indoor events has finally convinced us that panto is no longer feasible in these circumstances,” said Michelle Sweeney, Director of Creative Development.

“The joy and excitement of panto is so closely tied up with packed houses, lots of noise and audience participation that to produce it with restrictions and at a time of such uncertainty would not provide the great experience our customers expect.

“This is a huge disappointment for us, as we know it will be for customers.”

However, we have transformed the disappointment of this year into determination to make next year’s panto our best yet.

“Panto is a fantastic seasonal celebration in the greatest tradition of theatre, creating memories across the generations, which is why we are determined to make ‘Panto 2021’ one of the most special ever and are delighted to announce that it will be the all-time favourite, Cinderella.”

The loss of the production at AST has, however, had an unexpected positive in that it has created the opportunity to bring forward work on development plans that will help the venue reconnect with its roots and keep the community at the heart of its future.

The first phase will be the refurbishment of the auditorium and this work, being undertaken in partnership with Fife Council, will now be able to begin in Autumn 2020 and is scheduled for completion in Spring 2021.

“With the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith’s birth coming up in 2023, it will be fantastic to have the grand old lady looking her very best again well ahead of the celebrations,” said Michelle Sweeney.

ONFife will also shortly be announcing a magical alternative family Christmas experience at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline, for 2020.

Michelle Sweeney continued: “We love the festive season and while panto won’t be going ahead this year, we are definitely not in the business of cancelling Christmas! We are therefore busy putting the finishing touches to what promises to be one of our most magical family Christmas experiences ever and look forward to announcing this in the coming weeks.”

Existing Snow White ticket-holders who had taken advantage of ONFife’s early booking offer will be given the opportunity to hold their seats at 2020 prices for Cinderella. The box office team will contact all customers who have booked to discuss their ticket options by 31 August.

See updates and more information at www.onfife.com.

Ends

For further information please contact: Sheona Small, press officer, 07809 727 989 or email: sheona.small@onfife.com

Notes to editors:

· ONFife (Fife Cultural Trust) manages and operates theatres, libraries, museums and galleries and cultural partnerships on behalf of Fife Council for people living, working and visiting Fife. Further information can be found at www.onfife.com

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