Matt Slack: 'Don't let a face mask stop you coming to panto'

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Matt Slack in promo shot for Goldilocks and the Three BearsImage source, Birmingham Hippodrome
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Actor Matt Slack urged audiences to continue supporting theatre

An actor has urged people not to be discouraged from seeing a pantomime by rules like wearing a face mask.

Matt Slack is starring in Birmingham Hippodrome's Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which opens on Saturday.

Under new restrictions, audience members will be required to wear a face covering and show a Covid passport.

"If you have to wear a mask, wear a mask, but don't let that stop you coming to enjoy our tradition of pantomime," Mr Slack said.

"We're so excited to be on stage and we just want everybody to come back to pantomime," he said.

"It's crucial, we cannot lose these theatres."

Image source, Birmingham Hippodrome
Image caption,
The production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears was cancelled last year

A number of West End hit shows have had to cancel or suspend performances due to coronavirus outbreaks, as well as more locally at the Belgrade in Coventry.

It comes as theatres warn cancellations threaten to dent their finances as people seek to reduce their contacts amid the growing transmission of the Omicron variant.

Jason Donovan, who is also starring in the Hippodrome's pantomime, said the most important thing was ensuring "people feel confident to get back into theatres".

"It is an anxious time, but we are providing entertainment and in a way a therapy to release those anxieties," he said.

Director Michael Harrison said all members of the cast and crew were testing daily as part of their safety measures, but said there was "anxiety" at the prospect of a positive case.

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