The National Theatre cancels press night of new musical Hex due to Covid

·2-min read

The National Theatre has announced that the press night of its new musical Hex has been cancelled due to the impact of Covid-19 on the production.

The new show, which is an original take on the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, staged its first performance at the Olivier Theatre in London in December but has been affected by coronavirus-forced absences ever since.

Hex will continue its run until January 22 as planned and hopes to return later this year in November to allow it a “full run” with an official press night opening.

The show’s director and lyricist Rufus Norris said in a statement: “Like many productions (including several other NT ones), this one has been blighted by Covid, with the first week of previews seeing a different combination of understudies and stand-ins at almost every performance, and three weeks of performances lost since then due to illness.

“We had hoped to emerge into a clearer situation in January, but while we have started performances again, fresh cases are still emerging and the creative team have had to disperse to other projects.

“We have also had to cancel the planned NT Live.”

Norris, who is also the National Theatre’s artistic director, explained that due to these continuing issues they had decided to relaunch the musical in November “to give it the chance to have a full run”.

He added: “This is an unprecedented time in theatre in so many ways.

“It will take us a long while to understand the full and ongoing impact of Covid, and we will no doubt be in a state of constant adaptation for some time yet.”

The show is described as a “mythic, big-hearted new musical” that “goes beyond” the kiss that awakens Princess Aurora.

It instead follows a fairy who is summoned to the palace to help the princess sleep, but her dream of blessing someone turns into a curse and she becomes caught up in a “hundred-year quest” to make everything right.

The musical is based on a book by Tanya Ronder, with music by Jim Fortune.

The move comes as a string of West End shows and productions across the country have had to cancel performance dates in recent weeks due to “Covid-forced absence”.

This has placed considerable strain on the theatre industry, driving trade union bodies and theatre impresarios, such as Sir Cameron Mackintosh, to speak out to demand more support for entertainment workers affected by Omicron cancellations​.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting