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Wonderland the Musical cancels shows after sound equipment is withdrawn in payments row

Stephen Webb and Kerry Ellis in Wonderland at Edinburgh Playhouse
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Two performances of touring show Wonderland the Musical have been cancelled after the production’s sound equipment was pulled back by a supplier due to a financial dispute.

Swansea Grand Theatre confirmed that a performance on July 25 will not go ahead and a show on July 24 was cancelled due to “technical issues” with the sound equipment.

Suppliers Orbital Sound told The Stage that it has pulled its equipment because the production company Wonderland the Musical Ltd did not honour its financial commitment.

However a statement from Wonderland the Musical Ltd, whose director is producer Neil Eckersley, has claimed that Orbital Sound was “not due any further payment” and the show will resume on Wednesday July 26.

A statement from Orbital Sound said: “Orbital was not the first sound specialist company to service Wonderland.

“We were contacted with next-to-zero notice to take over the tour when another extremely well-respected company packed their flight cases and departed during the pre-production phase.

“We rose to the last-minute challenge and did absolutely everything we could to help the production, which resulted in excellent sound for the audience.

“As a team we always try our hardest to help out, it’s built into our blood, but on this occasion, although we honoured all our commitments, unfortunately the same could not be said the other way around money-wise.”

The statement added it had been “a torrid experience”.

“All that said, the production had plenty of warnings to find a third sound supplier, so hopefully the tour will continue with other folks on board,” he said.

Wonderland, which stars Wendi Peters, is due to run in Swansea until July 29, after which it will tour to Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Richmond Theatre and Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre until August 19.

A statement posted on Swansea Grand Theatre’s Facebook page on July 25 said: “Unfortunately, due to continuing technical difficulties tonight’s performance of Wonderland will not be going ahead.

“If you have tickets we will be contacting you with further information as soon as possible. We have been informed that these issues should be resolved by tomorrow and the rest of the scheduled performances should be unaffected.”

A similar statement was posted on the page on July 24.

A statement from Wonderland the Musical said: “Having chosen to withdraw from the production for their own reasons, Orbital Sound are not due any further payment.

“They have since been replaced as sound suppliers to the show and performances will resume as normal on Wednesday July 26, which will mark the show’s 200th performance. We wish Orbital Sound well with their projects elsewhere and look forward to opening the show in Swansea.”

Eckersley has previously come under fire in 2014 after actors, backstage staff and suppliers accused another of his production companies, Speckulation Entertainment, of owing them thousands of pounds for various projects.

Following the publication of this article, the remainder of the tour was cancelled and more people came forward claiming they were owed money for their work on the production. 

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