Following new Covid restrictions announced last Friday, December 3, the Gaiety theatre have revealed that they’ve now had to cancel 50% of the tickets sold for each of their Panto performances.
This year, the Gaiety theatre on South King Street, Dublin are doing The Little Mermaid as their hugely popular pantomime performance, which is always a big hit with families travelling into the city, year after year.
However, this year it is going to be quite different, as capacity for indoor events has been capped to a maximum of 50%, as announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin this past Friday.
This restriction came into effect today, December 7, which includes porting events, concerts, cultural and entertainment venues. The government guidelines also state that these events must be fully seated and face coverings must be worn except when eating or drinking.
Meanwhile, weddings can continue with no limits on numbers and outdoor events can also have full attendance.
Panto producer and the owner of the Gaiety theatre, Caroline Downey has explained to independent.ie that while this decision was extremely difficult to make, it was “the lesser of two evils”.
“In the Gaiety’s 150-year history, we have never before been forced to make such difficult decisions as this. For the last 20 months, families and children have done everything that has been asked of them,” she said.
“We in the Arts have done the same – opened safely, putting every protective measure in place to make the Theatre a safe and controlled environment. Despite having no case numbers linked to the Theatre since we re-opened, we have been forced by the Government to turn away people who had very kindly chosen to support us. We now have no choice but to let them down.”
“Having explored every avenue to figure a way to avoid disappointing families and loyal customers, we have decided that it is the lesser of two evils to allow 50% of the audience to see the show and keep the cast and crew in employment, rather than cancel the show completely,” Ms Downey explained.
The tickets being offered to patrons have been selected on a “first come, first served basis, based on the date tickets were purchased.”