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Fife panto scrapped six months before Christmas as Covid delays theatre renovation works

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, the Adam Smith Theatre's 2019 panto

Panto season at a Kirkcaldy theatre has been cancelled after Covid restrictions caused significant delays to renovation works.

The decision, which comes from Fife’s leading cultural organisation OnFife, was announced on Friday – almost six months before the pantos were set to hit the stage.

The organisation have claimed that the pandemic prevented them from purchasing vital materials needed to complete the works at the Adam Smith Theatre.

Opening of other theatres knocked back

It was also announced on Friday that the reopening of three other theatres in Fife would be pushed back due to social distancing measures.

Carnegie Hall, Rothes Halls and Lochgelly Centre were all planning to lift their curtains again in September, however the date has now been scrapped as social distancing measures remain in place.

Adam Smith Theatre.

While there are still hopes that the Lochgelly Centre will be able to welcome audiences back by October, it has been stated that Carnegie Hall and Rothes Halls will remain closed until December.

OnFife ‘sad to be making these decisions’

Michelle Sweeney, OnFife’s Director of Creative Development, said: “It’s sad to have to be making these decisions again and we share the disappointment of all our customers who had hoped to be back enjoying the fantastic buzz and excitement of live in-person theatre experiences with us again.

“But with an update on whether social distancing constraints will be lifted – which is such an important factor for theatres – not due until August, and so much uncertainty in the interim, we needed to bring clarity on the way forward for theatre promoters, local amateur associations, our communities and our own team members.

The Lochgelly Centre.

“Public health is at the fore of our thinking as our number one commitment is keeping people safe.

“Likewise is our commitment to providing a quality theatre experience.

“We are providing a wide range of services online and through our museums and libraries, which we are delighted to have been able to open again.

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes.

“But while social distancing remains in some form, a quality theatre programme is not feasible either financially or in terms of a great experience, which revolves around a bustling theatre environment.”

Covid won’t steal Christmas

Despite the cancellation of their pantos, OnFife have said they are making efforts “not to let Covid steal Christmas“.

Plans are already being made for a Christmas show at Carnegie Hall, and the charity also hope to work with Fife council on future seasonal projects.

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