A number of Les Misérables fans have had their tickets cancelled as producers warn of the “considerable financial implications” of opening theatres in tier 2.
Les Misérables – The Staged Concert is due to open at London’s Sondheim Theatre from 5 December, with an all-star cast including Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Matt Lucas performing in the production.
While tickets had been sold with social distancing measures in place, forthcoming tier 2 rules in London mean that theatres can only open at 50 per cent capacity, with Les Mis’s audience being reduced from 757 seats to less than 600.
Ticketholders were consequently contacted on Monday (30 November) morning, with journalist Rachel McGrath sharing the email from Delfont Mackintosh Theatres that painted a devastating picture of the theatre industry’s future.
“The financial implications of the Government’s new directive have put a massive strain on this production which was, in any event, designed to simply break even under current circumstances,” it reads. “It is now almost certain to make a substantial loss.
A pretty damning email sent by Cameron Mackintosh theatres to Les Mis ticket holders who’ve lost their seats under new government rules (aka me). The whole run is “now almost certain to make a loss”. pic.twitter.com/m190alPK9f
— Rachel McGrath (@RachelMcGrath) November 30, 2020
“It is worth pointing out that despite some misleading press stories, the entire commercial sector of the British theatre has received less than 1 per cent thus far of the much vaunted £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.”
The letter then thanked ticketholders for their support at a time when the theatre industry had been “put into the most difficult position”, particularly for actors who “have been unable to work over the last 9 months”.
The news was frustrating for fans who had been looking forward to seeing live theatre again after the coronavirus pandemic bought the industry to a standstill.
“I have non refundable hotels and trains books for the trip to Les Mis on December 12th which has suddenly been cancelled after waiting 3 hours for the tickets,” one musical theatre fan tweeted.
“Absolutely gutted that my Les Mis concert ticket has been cancelled due to the reconfiguration of the theatre… 2020 sucks,” another wrote
Les Misérables – The Staged Concert has been extended until 28 February.