Mercury Theatre in Colchester has postponed its 2020 pantomime.
The venue says its planned production will now take place in Christmas 2021 with dates and title to be confirmed.
Mercury Theatre's Executive Director Steve Mannix said they had "no choice other than to postpone our 2020 Christmas pantomime."
They explained: "We’ve held on for as long as we can, along with many other similar sized regional theatres, hoping against hope that we would receive clear guidance from the government on when our venues would be allowed to reopen fully and safely to the public.
"Unfortunately, we have now been told to not expect that guidance until November which is far too late for a show that would open that same month. So the time has come for us to make a call so that we can plan and prepare not only for the next few months, and the safety of our audience and staff working on the show, but also for the security of our future."
They added: "We’ve said it so many times, and we’ll say it until the cows come home – we can’t thank you, our audiences, enough for your ongoing patience and support. It means the world to us, it really does. We also wouldn’t be in such a fortunate position without the support of our funders, in particular Colchester Borough Council and Arts Council England as well as our staff and the wider theatre community – and unreserved thanks to you all.
"If you, as a valued audience member, want to help us get through this uncertain time, you can do so in a number of ways. The easiest perhaps is to donate what you can to the Mercury so we can secure our future and continue to produce magical experiences on and off stage for you all."
For more information visit the theatre website here.