Paisley Theatre Company PACE has confirmed that there will be no panto for Christmas 2021.

A number of factors include the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and that the venue where they hold the panto, Paisley Arts Centre, is currently closed and undergoing a £2.8m redevelopment.

The group has held their panto in the Arts Centre for over 30 years.

However, over 95% of the theatre’s income comes from ticket sales and fees and have made a public appeal to ask regular audience members to consider making a donation to help the group with costs in the meantime.

Grant Mason, Chief Executive of PACE Theatre Company, said: “After careful consideration, we must reluctantly confirm that there will be no PACE Theatre Company panto for Christmas 2021.

“Regrettably, there are a number of factors that mean it is not viable for us to produce our annual panto this year. Paisley Arts Centre, our home venue for more than 30 years, is currently undergoing a £2.8m redevelopment and due to delays resulting from the pandemic, will not re-open for December 2021 as originally expected. Coupled with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty about any future restrictions, we feel the risks are too great to commit to staging a production this year.

“Neither do we have plans for an online panto alternative at this time. Last year’s “Lost in Pantoland” was made possible with support from an emergency arts relief fund and without this additional funding the model is not sustainable.”

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we understand that many people will be disappointed. Our annual pantomime is a highlight of the year for many people, as it is for us, but we’re looking forward to being able to come back bigger and better next year.

“As a registered charity, we are hugely dependent on ticket sales to subsidise the work we do with young people throughout the year. Over 95% of our income comes from ticket sales and fees, meaning that we have been especially hard hit during the pandemic, and the loss of panto from our schedule for a second year running will leave a massive hole in our funds.

“If you are a regular audience member, please consider making a donation.”

To make a donation, visit www.pacetheatre.com/donate or to donate £10, text PACE to 70191.”

Main photo: PACE panto The Snow Queen from 2019 Photo Credit: Mihaela Bodlovic