Liverpool's theatres have closed their doors with immediate effect following new Government advice over Coronavirus.
The Liverpool Empire, part of ATG which runs major theatres nationwide, is among venues large and small who have taken the decision to go dark after the public was advised to avoid all unnecessary social contact.
In the short run it means the second week of the current run of The King and I is suspended, and next week’s We Will Rock You is no longer being staged.
A statement from ATG chief executive Mark Cornell said: “Given the current ambiguity and lack of clarity as to how long our theatres may be closed for, we hope to provide you with an update within the next 48 hours regarding the exchange of tickets.
“We will be consulting with industry bodies and the Government over the immediate future.”
Pete Price is Dead. Photo by Jason Roberts.
Royal Court Liverpool’s new production of Pete Price is Dead was staged last night after the theatre tweeted that many audience members would have already left home to attend.
But the theatre has now announced that all shows are cancelled until June 5 and will be rescheduled.
Three shows in the main house will be affected with Pete Price Is Dead moving to October, YNWA moving in to June and Macca & Beth being rescheduled for February 2021.
Studio shows between now and June 5 will also be either postponed or cancelled.
Box office staff will be contacting all ticket holders to offer them replacement tickets for the new dates or a voucher that can be used for any show in the next two years.
Executive producer Kevin Fearon said: "This is a very challenging time for the country in general and for the Royal Court. The support our audience have already shown for us online is heartening and encourages us to do everything we can to come through this.
"We will make sure that every single person who has booked with us has a replacement ticket and we want to see them all back here once life has got back to normal."
Our Lady of Blundellsands which was currently on at the Everyman. Photo Mark Brenner
The Everyman and Playhouse has also suspended work in both theatres until further notice.
A statement on the theatres' website said: "Closure will affect all events, hires and customer facing services in our theatres for the foreseeable future. We will resume events when guidance is given on when it is safe and responsible to re-open.
"As a registered charity and like many other theatres, we rely on goodwill and support to keep our theatres going.
"Some of our patrons and audience members have chosen to decline their refund in favour of supporting our charitable activities at this difficult time. If you felt you could do the same we would be eternally grateful. "
Meanwhile the Unity Theatre has announced it has postponed all public performances an events this week, and further postponements are expected.
“Nobody at the Unity has been in contact with the virus,” a statement online added. “However, as a hub for the community, we regularly host events and performances for some of the most vulnerable in our society and do not wish to put people at unnecessary risk.”
And all shows are also off at the Epstein Theatre. A statement from the Hanover Street venue said: "Due to the lack of information about how long this situation will last, we cannot yet say how long this suspension will last but will provide an update later today.