The four theatres’ pantos were enjoyed by more than 145,000 people in the 2019 season.

That number included over 40,500 schoolchildren, many of whom would have been experiencing theatre for the first time.

Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch said: “These four pantos typically employ over 285 freelance artists, including writers, directors, designers, actors, technicians, stage management, and many more, demonstrating the financial impact panto has not only for a theatre but across the theatre industry.

“The production process for such a large-scale show as panto would have begun at the start of August. Without an announced date from the Government on when theatre performances can resume without social distancing, making doing a panto economically viable, these theatres have now had to take the hard decision to postpone to 2021.”

Any customers who have already booked tickets to pantomimes at any the four theatres will be contacted by the theatre.

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