This month we have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that, with very heavy hearts, we took the decision to postpone our pantomime Aladdin which was due to be performed in the middle of January. There was one simple reason for this. The Omicron variant was causing a very rapid and alarming spread of Covid. Although we have undertaken extensive risk assessments and had plans in place to minimise the danger of infection, ultimately we felt it would be irresponsible to go ahead and bring an audience together at a time when transmission of the virus was at its height. We have an overriding commitment to keep audience, cast and crew safe. Despite all the hard work that everyone had put in, we felt that these considerations had to take priority over our natural desire to be back on stage after a two-year absence.
Difficult as it has been, we are content that we have made the right decision because at the time of going to press the country is still reporting nearly 200,000 Covid cases per day. Besides keeping everyone safe, if cast members became infected or were required to isolate (as has happened during rehearsals) this too would have disrupted performances. Accordingly, producer, director and committee were unanimous in deciding that postponement was the prudent course of action. All who booked tickets should have received a refund.
Now for the good news.
After carefully considering other commitments and having regard to the availability of Silchester Village Hall, we propose to go ahead with performances of Aladdin in the last full week in March. We realise that this is a little late for a pantomime but it would be a shame not to stage the production after all the hard work of rehearsing, designing and constructing colourful scenery, preparing inventive lighting and sound effects and creating colourful costumes.
We hope our loyal audiences will still support us even though in 2022 the pantomime will be nearer Easter than Christmas.
Because other bookings of Silchester Village Hall had already been made, we will not be able to stage our normal seven performances. Instead there will be a run of four performances as follows: on the evenings of Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March with a matinee on the Saturday afternoon.
One final word. Because there will be only four performances and because we are limiting capacity, there is likely to be heavy demand for tickets. Please go to our website www.silchesterplayers.org and follow the link to make your booking.
We are very excited about being on stage once more and look forward to seeing both our regular patrons and new patrons in the not too distant future.