A Doncaster theatre is doing everything they can to keep their audiences safe and able to enjoy festive performances

Mask wearing is once again mandatory in theatres but one Doncaster director says that it won’t stop the festive fun at the panto.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 3:13 pm

Cast Theatre never stopped wearing face coverings and masks - they have continually asked their theatre audiences and staff to take preventative measures.

Deborah Rees, director at Cast, said: “Our highest priority is to keep everyone safe.

“Our audiences have been brilliant at wearing masks.

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Masks are back but they won't stop the panto.

“We haven't had any problems since the new measures came into place.”

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Deborah admits that she was slightly nervous when the news broke about Plan B as it is panto season.

The Aladdin performance which is on at Cast this Christmas is one full of shouting and singing and a whole lot of audience participation.

“I wasn’t sure if the show was going to be the same with face coverings,” Deborah said.“But thanks to the spirit of our cast and the audience themselves it hasn’t held them back.

“Our sold out shows are still full of joy, children shouting and of course lots of laughter.”

Unlike other businesses who have suffered from the announcement with cancellations Deborah says that Cast are not experiencing empty seats as a result of mandatory masks.

One reason for this is that theatre is a happy escape from the real world - one that Deborah hopes can continue to run for the rest of the season.

The theatre has six different shows running at the moment and are gearing up for the extremely busy Christmas half term fortnight.

“People love coming out and seeing the panto,” she said.

“I think this year people are laughing even harder than before at the jokes just because they want a reason to smile.

“The faces of the children have never been brighter.”

There is a concern that the Government will bring in tougher measures later this winter.

“We can’t predict what might happen in the next couple of weeks,” she said.

“We’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

“If it’s taken out of our control again then we will do what the restrictions say - keeping people safe is the main priority.”

Deborah said that staff at Cast are being asked to test more regularly and to act as prudent as possible.

“I want to thank our audiences for their efforts in helping us to keep everyone safe,” Deborah said.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.