The producer behind the collapsed Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre has cancelled its planned run of musical Matilda in Hong Kong.
Lunchbox Theatrical Productions was due to present a season of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda in Hong Kong, running at the Lyric Theatre at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts from September 20 to October 20.
However, an email sent to ticket holders on September 13 said the production would no longer take place, with the producer citing poor ticket sales due to civil unrest.
The news coincides with the collapse of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd, which ran pop-up venues in York and Blenheim Palace this summer that were produced by Lunchbox Theatrical.
Addressing the Matilda cancellation, the email statement from Lunchbox Theatrical Productions’ chief executive James Cundall said: “Sadly, the 14 weeks of civil unrest in Hong Kong have decimated ticket sales, and more importantly we cannot guarantee the safety and well-being of our international company, which comprises a large number of young children.
“I realise this will come as a great disappointment to those who have purchased tickets, and we very much hope to bring this superb show to Hong Kong next year.”
The email adds that “refund procedures will be announced shortly”.
However, one customer who had purchased two tickets for the show told The Stage they were still awaiting information about refunds.
When approached for comment, Cundall told The Stage that ticket refunds would be available through seller HK Ticketing.
HK Ticketing has been contacted for comment.
Royal Shakespeare Company executive director Catherine Mallyon said the company was “very sorry to hear the news that the production of Matilda The Musical will not be opening in Hong Kong”.
“We are particularly sorry for those audiences missing out. The production will continue with its tour of China later in the year and we very much hope the show will come to Hong Kong soon,” she added.
It was announced on September 25 that Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre Ltd is set to go into liquidation following “unsustainable losses” from its summer seasons.
The company also cancelled productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth that were due to run in Manila in the Philippines from September 17 to 22.
A statement from Cundall said: “The publicity we have achieved from the media in Manila is unbelievable and we are immensely grateful for that, but sadly this has not translated into ticket sales, and despite an intense and costly marketing campaign, we have not been able to sell anywhere near the number needed to make the project financially viable.”
He added: “The team at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre was incredibly excited about bringing these superb productions to Manila audiences, so this is not a decision we have taken lightly.”
A spokeswoman for Lunchbox Theatrical told The Stage that refunds for these productions have commenced through Ticketworld.