The Mill Dam venue had been due to present Rapunzel as this year’s ‘Little Panto with the Big Heart’.
But bosses say continued uncertainty over rules on social distancing and the possibility of a second spike sparking a return to lockdown mean the financial risks of staging their biggest show of the year are too great.
Executive director Ray Spencer confirmed the decision to cancel this year’s panto on the Customs House’s social media.
“With the continued uncertainty around government advice on live performance and with a predicted second wave of Covid this winter, it is with deep regret that The Customs House is announcing the postponement of our 2020 pantomime “Rapunzel” until 2021,” he said.
“After months of closure and no clear road map to reopening The Customs House cannot risk the heavy investment required to produce pantomime without some guarantee that we would be able to at least recoup costs.
“All advance ticket sales are now available for refund - please be patient as our skeleton staff work through the high number of bookings.
“We are refunding tickets rather than transferring them to next year’s dates, with a new performance diary for 2021 being produced soon.
“These are extremely difficult times for everyone so I would ask, if you are able, to consider donating part of your ticket refund to The Customs House Charity.
“You remain our greatest asset, our supporters, it is you who will help secure a positive future for YOUR Customs House.
“We will return! OH, YES WE WILLL!”
An email has been sent to all bookers outlining options for a refund or to donate part of their transaction to The Customs House Charity.
Those who do not have an email address attached to their booking will receive a call from staff who are working through each show. Customers will be notified when refunds have been processed.
If you have not heard from anyone by Saturday September 4, email [email protected] or send a letter to The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields, NE33 1ES.