Prince of Egypt is forced to call off performances after Covid case

Prince of Egypt is forced to call off performances in the West End after positive Covid case after Hairspray was cancelled – amid theatre industry fury at packed stands at Wimbledon and Wembley

  • Prince Of Egypt said it is ‘impossible to perform’ while close contacts self isolate
  • The show stressed that every other person in the cast and crew tested negative
  • Show said no audience members came into contact with the infected person  
  • Prince Of Egypt reopened on July 1 at 2,000-capacity Dominion Theatre 

West End Musical The Prince Of Egypt has been forced to cancel two weeks of performances after one person in the company tested positive for Covid-19.

A show spokesperson said it is ‘impossible to perform’ at London’s Dominion Theatre while all the infected person’s close contacts self isolate for ten days – in line with Government guidelines.

The show stressed that every other person in the cast and crew tested negative and no audience members came into contact with the infected person.

It comes days after musical Hairspray cancelled all performances for 10 days after a production team member tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

The show is set to resume tomorrow – with Michael Ball and Les Dennis in starring roles – after producers followed ‘the strictest of protocols’.  

West End Musical The Prince Of Egypt (pictured) has been forced to cancel two weeks of performances after one person in the company tested positive for Covid-19 

The show stressed that every other person in the cast and crew tested negative in a statement

The show said no audience members came into contact with the infected person

The Prince Of Egypt reopened on July 1 with audience members spaced out across the theatre’s 2,000-plus seats. 

Based on the 1998 animated film and the Book of Exodus, the musical – which stars Luke Brady, Liam Tamne, Christine Allado, Alexia Khadime and Debbie Kurup – is about the rivalry between Moses and Ramses.

A statement shared to the show’s Twitter page read: ‘In accordance with UK Government track and trace legislation, the producers have unfortunately had to suspend all performances of The Prince of Egypt at the Dominion Theatre up to and including Tuesday 20 July 2021.

‘The production’s Covid officers identified a single positive Covid case within the company and, while all other company members remain Covid-negative, the Government legislation is such that the close-contact workforce must now isolate for ten days rendering it impossible to perform the show.

‘Ticket buyers impacted by the cancellation of performances are being contacted by their point of purchase, via email, at the earliest opportunity.’

Tickets can be swapped for a later show or refunded, the show said, adding: ‘We want to reassure our audiences that, due to the strict health and safety protocols we have in place at the Dominion Theatre, this registered case will not have come into contact with anyone visiting the venue.

‘The safety of our customers and company remains our absolute priority.’

In a Twitter statement, a spokesperson said that it is ‘impossible to perform the show’ (pictured) at London’s Dominion Theatre while all the infected person’s close contacts self isolate

Based on the 1998 animated film (and the Book of Exodus), the musical – which stars Luke Brady, Liam Tamne, Christine Allado, Alexia Khadime and Debbie Kurup – is about the rivalry between Moses and Ramses

The Prince Of Egypt (pictured) reopened on July 1 with audience members spaced out across the theatre’s 2,000-plus seats

The coronavirus restrictions which will be removed from July 19 

Britain has recorded 31,772 new cases of coronavirus and 26 new deaths in the latest government figures

It echoes a statement made by fellow West End musical Hairspray.

On July 5, a spokesperson said: ‘Unfortunately, despite extremely robust measures being in place, a member within the Hairspray company has sadly tested positive for Covid-19.

‘We want to reassure all of our audiences that due to the strict processes we have in place at the London Coliseum, this registered case will not have come into contact with anyone visiting the venue and we are confident that we have adhered to all the required health and safety requirements.’

It follows more than a year of devastating Covid restrictions imposed on theatres – which saw countless cancellations and millions of pounds in lost ticket sales.

Andrew Lloyd Webber last month backed down over his threat to reopen his theatres without social distancing in place after he was warned his entire staff and audience members could have been fined hundreds of pounds each. 

Webber said he would have been willing to face arrest by going ahead at full capacity when Cinderella premiered at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre on June 25.

But he added that after seeking legal advice he decided he could not risk the cast, crew and audience members being fined individually. It is now going ahead at 50 per cent capacity.

In a swipe at the government, the composer rejected Boris Johnson’s offer for his musical Cinderella to be included in a pilot scheme for live events, which would have allowed it to be shown at full capacity earlier.

Following talks between the pair, Webber said it would be unfair for his show to be singled out for special treatment by Downing Street.  

Andrew Lloyd Webber last month backed down over his threat to reopen his theatres without social distancing in place after he was warned his entire staff and audience members could have been fined hundreds of pounds each. Pictured: The cast of his musical Cinderella 

The impresario said he ‘cannot and will not take part’ and blasted the Government over its treatment of theatre and music as ‘an afterthought and undervalued’.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, 72, said in a statement: ‘After a long week of government delay and confusion, I confirm that I cannot and will not take part in yet another pilot scheme around the reopening of theatres, as suggested by the Prime Minister on Monday.

‘I have made it crystal clear that I would only be able to participate if others were involved and the rest of the industry – theatre and music – were treated equally. This has not been confirmed to me.’ 

Cinderella, Webber’s new musical, will begin previews on June 25 ‘at the Government’s arbitrary 50 per cent capacity,’ Webber said. Ticket holders for shows before this date will get refunds or a new date to see the show. 

Webber said that the production would be ‘economically unviable’, but said that he would ‘personally bear the losses’ incurred by putting on the production. 

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