Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch postpones panto until 2021

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 August 2020

There will be no pantomime at Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch this Christmas. Picture: Paul Bennett

There will be no pantomime at Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch this Christmas. Picture: Paul Bennett


Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch has announced there will be no festive pantomime taking place this year.

The Billet Lane venue was scheduled to host a run of Aladdin this Christmas, but it has been postponed until 2021.

Douglas Rintoul, artistic director, and Mathew Russell, executive director, said it is the first time since 1953 that Queen’s will not be producing a panto.

The theatre bosses described panto season as the “highlight of everyone’s year” and called the postponement “incredibly sad”.

They said: “The experience is so important for huge numbers - for children enjoying the magic of their first theatre visit, those who go to the theatre once a year and our most loyal followers, who’ve been enjoying Hornchurch pantos for a long time.

“The impact on the charity’s finances will be pretty dreadful too, and we’ll be seeking and needing lots of extra support to get us through the rest of 2020 without it.”

Indoor performances are currently not permitted under the Government’s coronavirus guidelines.

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The announcement of Queen’s’ postponement was made jointly along with three other venues - Hackney Empire, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East.

A spokesperson for the theatres added: “Without an announced date from the Government on when theatre performances can resume without social distancing, making doing a panto economically viable, these theatres have now had to take the hard decision to postpone to 2021.”

Aladdin, written by Andrew Pollard and directed by Mr Rintoul, will now be performed between Thursday, November 25 2021 and Sunday, January 3 2022.

The show will retell the classic story featuring a magic carpet and an enchanted lamp as well as characters such as Aladdin’s mum Widow Twankey and the evil Abanazar.

Anyone who had already booked tickets for Aladdin this year will be contacted by Queen’s with a view to moving their booking to a corresponding performance in next year’s run.

For more, go to or call the box office on 01708 443333.

Queen’s is also appealing for funding support in a bid to help it re-open once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

To donate, visit

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