As pantomime producers it is our absolute priority to ensure the wellbeing and health of everyone who will work on, be involved in, or watch any of our productions this year. Unfortunately, with this in mind and having consulted with venues, schools, and local education authorities, we have had to make the difficult decision not to feature a Junior Ensemble in this year’s pantomimes.
As the panto season approaches and whilst we hopefully continue to head out of the pandemic, there are still many unknowns that we, as producers, are having to navigate this year that we would not normally have to:
- We have a duty of care to make sure that we can offer a safe working environment for everyone working on the show. Theatre backstage areas and dressing rooms can be extremely cramped. In many of our venues we would not be able to satisfy the child performance licensing authorities that we can provide a covid safe environment for our juvenile choruses.
- Including children in our pantomimes can treble the number of people backstage and this in turn could vastly increase the chances of a positive covid result within the company. Such an event could very well lead to the cancellation of the production, possibly for the long term.
- Children will be mixing with hundreds of other people each day in school along with their friends and families outside of school. We can ask our professional cast to reduce the amount of close contact they have with other people throughout the run of the pantomime, but we can’t expect school children to do the same. Should one of the children pick up COVID at school, and come to the theatre, this would impact on others within the production and may lead to the cancellation of performances, or the entire run.
The problem we have is that we can only work with the information we have at any one time. Whilst theatres are reopen at full capacity there are still so many unanswered questions, and we must make certain decisions now.
Bearing this in mind, and after lengthy discussion and careful consideration with theatre managements, we’ve had no option but to make the tough decision not to feature young performers in our 2021 Jordan Productions pantomimes. This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we understand that there will be many disappointed children this year.
We promise that, as soon as things get back to ‘normal’, children will return to our shows.
The junior ensemble are an integral part of our pantomimes, and we look forward to welcoming them back next year for our 2022 season.
If you have any questions or would like any more information, please feel free to contact Jordan Productions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org