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Nimax Theatres urges furlough return, as shows cancelled

Nimax Theatres, the owners of six London West End venues, has announced it will cancel performances from November 5.

The company, which was founded in 2005 by theatre producers Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer, owns and operates the Palace (pictured), Lyric, Apollo, Garrick, Vaudeville and Duchess theatres.

The six venues reopened with reduced capacity audiences in October after being closed for six months due to COVID-19. They will remain shuttered until December 2 following the UK government’s latest announcement.

Nica Burns, chief executive of Nimax Theatres, said: “Thank you Rishi Sunak for announcing so quickly the return of furlough alongside lockdown two. We would be grateful if you could put the concerns of the self-employed and freelancers at rest by swiftly reinstating the same support for them as you did for lockdown one.”

Nimax will be reopening its West End theatres in sequence with social distancing and preventative measures from December 3 following the end of the current lockdown.

Burns said ticket sales for all its shows since reopening have been “excellent” with the first show to open, Adam Kay at the Apollo, adding another performances to fulfil audience demand. In addition, Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables staged concerts at the Sondheim Theatre that sold out in 24 hours.

“The government has said they want to preserve Christmas,” Burns added. “Going to the theatre at Christmas is a tradition for many. Every theatre that will be open looks forward to welcoming our audiences back safely from December 3rd after lockdown ends and giving them a great night out.”

Theatre goers can look forward to shows in December, including Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre and SIX, a musical about Henry VIII’s wives, at the Lyric. It was previously announced the musical would temporarily move from the Arts Theatre to the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue for an 11-week run with social distancing from November 14.

In addition, the lockdown has forced London’s National Theatre, which began performances of its first in-person production since the COVID-19 shutdown, to cut short the solo show Death of England: Delroy. The production was originally scheduled to run through November 28, but will now end November 4.

Image:  Matt May uploaded and derivative work: MrPanyGoff / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size