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The Rhythmics forced to cancel run at Southwark Playhouse short

The Rhythmics @ Southwark Playhouse. Picture: (c) Alex Brenner
The Rhythmics @ Southwark Playhouse. Picture: (c) Alex Brenner

New British musical The Rhythmics has cut short its run at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

A statement from producers said they had been forced to cancel the remainder of the run due to “ongoing illness and Covid-19 related absences”.

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The production began previews on 2 December 2021 and was due to run to 8 January 2022.

In a statement, producers said: “Aria Entertainment, Metta Theatre and Edward Prophet, the producers of new British musical The Rhythmics, are saddened to announce that they have found it necessary to cancel the remainder of the current run at the Southwark Playhouse, after disruption caused by ongoing illness and Covid-19 related absences in the company, a delay of two press night performances, along with the ongoing uncertainty in the wake of recent Government announcements, leaving theatres once again facing a devastating loss of business.

“With the necessary self-isolation requirements for confirmed Covid-19 cases, and the fact that productions of this scale are unable to contract and rehearse significant understudies, the decision has been taken to cease performances entirely. The show will close 3 weeks earlier than planned.

“The final performance of The Rhythmics took place on Saturday 11 December, ahead of the press night.”

Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson said: “Our beautiful production of Rhythmics has just been dealt blow after blow including having to cancel two press nights and so we have been left with no other option than to close the show before we even were able to officially open it.

“This company have worked so hard to tell this beautiful story, but we have to do what is best for all involved and the show itself and therefore have decided to not continue with the production until January 8th. We hope that one day audiences will get to share the joy and sentiments of this new British musical.”

Metta Theatre’s P Burton-Morgan added: “We are devastated to deliver this news on the day where we should have been reading our reviews – just as we were finally actually ready to offer up this absolute gem of a show to the world.

“To our company and audiences, we can only offer our deepest and most sincere apologies. We hope, with all our hearts, that the day will come again when we get a second chance to share this beautiful production with the world.”

Patrons who have booked can either request a direct refund, or to donate the ticket money to the production, to help mitigate the loss that this cancellation has caused. Refunds will be issued automatically by the Southwark Playhouse box office, but those who would like to donate should contact them in the next 7 days to let them know.

With book and lyrics by Metta’s Artistic Director P Burton-Morgan, and music and lyrics from Stiles + Drewe award winner Ben Glasstone (Reanimator), The Rhythmics explores the crisis of masculinity via a collection of oddballs belting their way through a thrillingly catchy guitar-led score.


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