Old Vic calls time on Endgame amid virus crisis
A production of Endgame starring Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
London’s Old Vic Theatre is among the first to pull performances and said it made the decision “with great sadness”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to discuss the banning of mass gatherings at a meeting on Monday.
“Given the new travel and other restrictions in place, it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre,” the Old Vic said in a statement.
“We are very sympathetic to people’s personal circumstances, as we are to the audiences who are still excited to visit the theatre and see our productions. We are also extremely aware of our employees’ financial dependence on work being presented and tickets being purchased.
“So it is with great sadness that we have had to decide to suspend the presentation of Endgame in a double bill with Rough for Theatre II for the next two weeks, which is the remainder of its run.”
The Samuel Beckett play started its run on January 27 and was due to continue until March 28.
The theatre urged those who had purchased tickets to consider donating the cost back to the organisation.
It said: “The Old Vic operates in an unusual way for a non-commercial theatre in that it has no Arts Council support. Instead it is completely dependent on philanthropic donations, sponsorship and ticket sales.
“We now need your help more than ever.”
The Young Vic theatre followed suit on Monday, cancelling all remaining performances of Nora: A Doll’s House over coronavirus concerns.
The production, a reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, was due to run until March 21.
A statement on the website of the Old Vic’s sister venue said: “The health and wellbeing of our audiences and staff will always be our priority.
“On Saturday March 14, both performances of Nora: A Doll’s House were cancelled as a precaution.
“We have since made the difficult decision to cancel all remaining performances of Nora.
“Although the performances are cancelled, the Young Vic building, box office and The Cut bar are set to remain open.”
The Young Vic’s management also asked theatre-goers to consider donating the price of their ticket to the venue “to help us get through this period”.