The show will go on for Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime as Pendle Hippodrome takes centre stage from Colne Municipal Theatre
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Colne Muni Theatre, managed by Pendle Leisure Trust is disappointed that the work currently being done as part of the government's Levelling Up Fund will now need to be extended into the new year.
However, due to a partnership with The Pendle Hippodrome, the pantomime will still be coming to Colne.
Alison Goode, chief executive of Pendle Leisure Trust said. “As part of the Levelling Up Fund, The Muni Theatre is currently undergoing major renovations making the building fit for purpose for future generations.
“During the latest routine inspection by Boys, the contractors, it was identified that the ornate plaster on the auditorium ceiling was no longer secure and would need further work so a new scheme of works has now been programmed in. This essential work has therefore impacted the initial opening date and we’re now expecting to open in April 2024.
“Although we're sad that the Muni won’t be open as initially planned, we’re very pleased that thanks to The Hippodrome, the second of the three theatres in Colne that are benefitting from the Levelling Up fund, we’re able to offer Jack and the Beanstalk at a temporary venue.”
A spokesman for Boys, the construction company currently working on The Muni as part of the £1.56m. renovations, said: “For a building that’s over 100 years old, The Muni has seen many milestones and to make sure it sees many more, we’ve been having regular inspections of the building, including the plaster on the ornate ceiling in the auditorium.
“Unfortunately, it became apparent on the latest inspection that the plaster has cracked in certain areas and is therefore unsafe. We’ve since worked tirelessly with plaster professionals who had identified a new programme which has unfortunately impacted the proposed handover day.
“But with these much-needed repairs, The Muni will see many more milestones in the future.”
Yvette Saunders, The Muni Theatre Manager will be contacting the production companies in due course to reschedule as many of the shows as possible and all tickets already purchased will be honoured for the new dates.
“Any dates that cannot be rescheduled will have their tickets automatically refunded so there is no need to contact the Box Office. Holders of tickets for the pantomime will be contacted shortly with their updated seat numbers, and we’ll be honouring their original bookings as close as possible.”
Alison added: “With over 5,000 children attending each year, our panto is a highlight for many of our schools, not to mention a family tradition across the district, which is why we’re pleased that The Pendle Hippodrome kindly accepted our request to host the forthcoming pantomime at their venue.”
Kevin Mason, Chairman of The Pendle Hippodrome said “When we were approached by Alison from The Muni, it was quickly agreed by the board that it was the least we could do after their invaluable help with securing our funding as part of the Levelling Up Fund.
As part of the Heritage Quarter and after securing our refurbishment, being able to repay the favour and keep the magic of pantomime alive is a great achievement for us all.”
The panto runs from January 5th to Sunday January 21st. To book tickets visit www.themuni.co.uk.