No Pantomime For Scilly This Winter

panto_2014_1There isn’t going be a pantomime in the Town Hall this winter because the Council won’t allow the Theatre Club to continue using the lighting array and pulleys above the stage.

After last winter’s production, they brought in a theatre Health and Safety advisor who raised concerns about the overhead structure.

Maggie Perkovic has written, produced, directed and starred in the January shows. She says the restrictions placed on the use of the stage would make hosting a panto impossible.

Maggie says a pantomime needs the whole stage and full lighting and the cost of making the equipment safe will be around £80,000.

In the summer, the club’s plays used a staging area in the part of the Town Hall usually used for seating. That reduced the potential capacity.

Club Chairman Gail Sibley says club members are extremely disappointed but they can’t repeat the summer arrangement for the panto as there are too many people coming and going on stage.

A winter panto is a much-loved Scilly tradition and the show has been put on in the Town Hall annually since 1968.

Gail says it’s sad because the production has always greatly involved local schoolchildren and the wider community

Maggie thinks that the Council decision has brought the end of an era, but Gail is optimistic that there will be a panto for 2017.

She thinks that Theatre Club members need to identify an alternative venue.

Back in September, the Council issued a statement stating that they were, “looking at a range of options to allow the stage to continue being used in the long term.”

Gail says she’s not been made aware of any future plan as yet.

She hopes that the authority will come back with some form of proposal but it’s too late to plan a panto for next January now.

We asked the Council to provide details of their options but they didn’t respond to our email.

6 Responses to No Pantomime For Scilly This Winter

  1. nimis non est satis October 21, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Has anyone approached Kier or other contractors on the island – If it’s sparkies or metal work I’m fairly sure they wll have the expertise to make safe – and most large companies are more than happy to put back into the communities they work in

  2. Linguine October 21, 2015 at 12:32 am

    What it needs is reorganising then the cost will come down to a mere 160,000 pounds
    (one hundred and sixty thousand pounds for the Linguist) but with the advantage that the stage will accommodate twice as many people which is ideal for a Dutch farce.

  3. Allan October 20, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Isn’t there an auditorium down at the new school ? Can’t you use that ?

  4. Jenny October 20, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Not PC I know. But can’t help smiling at the Widow T’s comment. very quick.

  5. Widow Twanky October 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Well, I am surprised as a pantomime is being played there throughout the rest of the year.

  6. kay banfield October 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    St Mary’s is the only island now without a Community Hall. I think the Town Hall lost that status some years back.