Less than a month after opening, the West End production of “Cabaret” starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley has been forced to postpone at least two performances.
On Wednesday, the production canceled showings of its matinee and evening shows after a member of the backstage company tested positive for COVID-19.
“Despite extremely robust measures being in place, a member of the backstage company tested positive for COVID-19 this morning,” the production posted on Twitter. “In order to complete testing on the wider company, we are sorry to have to cancel tonight’s performance of ‘Cabaret at the Kit Club [sic]. Your point of purchase will be in touch very shortly with alternative options.
“We will provide an update on performances for the remainder of the week as quickly as we can. The safety of our audiences, cast and company is our priority and we are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We look forward to welcoming you to the Kit Kat Club very soon.”
It remains unclear whether Thursday’s performance will go ahead. According to sources, as of Thursday morning no decision had yet been taken.
Just days before Wednesday’s cancelations, rave reviews were flooding in for the show, with Variety’s critic calling it “electrifying”with the initial booking period reportedly entirely sold out.
Part of the show’s selling point has been the “intimacy” of the venue, with tickets selling for record prices of £325 ($430), which includes dinner and champagne. (Slightly cheaper tickets, priced at £250 ($332), are also available.)
For the show’s run, the Playhouse Theatre has been reconfigured into the real-life Kit Kat Club from the musical itself, with capacity reduced to 590 seats and new bars built throughout the labyrinthine venue, in which the audience can also enjoy dancing and pre- and post-show drinks.
All attendees, even those who are fully vaccinated, have been required to show a negative Lateral Flow or PCR test before entering performances of “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” except where exempt.
“Cabaret’s” cancellations come amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and the new Omicron variant in the U.K., with the highest number of cases on record since the start of the pandemic. This has led to a glut of theater performances being postponed or canceled, including “The Lion King” at the Lyceum theatre, “Hex” at the National Theatre and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at the Troubadour theater in Wembley.
Reps for Redmayne and “Cabaret” could not be reached by press time.
More to come.