A touring production of children’s production Dear Zoo has been forced to cancel performances after a truck containing the show’s set and costumes was stolen.
Producer Chris Davis said the value of the items stolen was £50,000 and that all dates for the remainder of the tour, which was scheduled to run until June, are under threat unless the van is returned.
The vehicle carrying the equipment was stolen on April 27, resulting in performances in Bromsgrove, where it was due to play on April 28 and 29, being cancelled.
Writing on Twitter, the production said: “To whoever stole our van – thousands of children are very upset, they are missing out because of you! Please show some heart and return our van #senditback #findourzoo.”
Davis, who produces the show through Norwell Lapley Productions, told The Stage: “The people who have stolen the van have changed the number plates twice so far. The van had a tracker in it which they have destroyed, and the whole show is currently lost.”
He said that a further tour had been planned for the autumn, and that a new set will be built in time for this, with any cancelled dates from the current tour being added on to that.
However, he said the current scheduled dates would go ahead should the set be recovered.
“It’s difficult what to tell venues at the moment as we just don’t know,” he said.
He added that the cast of six were currently out of work.
He said: “It’s going to cost us a fortune. It’s tragic. It’s really sad and just a mindless, stupid thing. There is nothing they can do with all the stuff. It’s just crazy.”