Entertainment

Olivier Awards 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall cancelled amid coronavirus fears


The 2020 Olivier Awards have been cancelled (Picture: Getty)

The Olivier Awards is the latest event to be cancelled amid the fears over coronavirus, it was announced today. 

The event was due to take place on 5 April at the Royal Albert Hall, but has now been cancelled to follow the government’s advice on social distancing. 

The cancellation was confirmed in a statement which read: ‘It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Olivier Awards 2020 with Mastercard at the Royal Albert Hall on 5 April.

‘Following the government’s new advice on social distancing yesterday, and the subsequent closing of many theatres and public venues, we no longer feel that it is feasible to host the ceremony that we had planned to deliver.

‘As the Royal Albert Hall has announced closure until further notice, we have taken the difficult decision that the event will not be going ahead.

‘The Society of London Theatre would like to thank all nominees, shows, producers, theatres, sponsors, suppliers and creatives for their ongoing support.

The 2020 nominees will still be honoured (Picture: Getty Images)

‘We are working through plans on how to properly honour and announce this year’s winners, and will release further information soon.

‘All tickets will be refunded, and the Royal Albert Hall will be in touch with ticketholders, who are asked to be patient during this process.​’ 

The Royal Albert Hall had earlier informed patrons that it would be closed until further notice as the coronavirus crisis meant large gatherings are not advised in order to slow the spread. 

Their statement read: ‘In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and following advice from government, we have taken the decision with a heavy heart to close the Royal Albert Hall from midday today, Tuesday 17 March, to the public until at least 30 April. Beyond that date, we will continue to follow government advice.

Organisers have confirmed they will honour the award winners in some way despite the ceremony being cancelled (Picture: Getty Images)

‘The safety and security of our artists, audiences and staff is, ultimately, all that matters. 

‘We’ve been here for the nation for almost 150 years in good times and bad. We exist to be open, to entertain, to inspire. 

‘Our doors are made to be open to the world and so it goes against everything in our nature to close them. But these aren’t normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where closing our doors is the best way to look after the world.

‘The consequences of these national actions are going to be hugely damaging. The Royal Albert Hall does not receive regular government support and is dependent on income related to events, which will not be happening. The lost income from closing the venue will pose serious challenges for the Hall and its stakeholders. 

‘We invest millions of pounds every year just to look after our building, but our main costs are our staff, whose livelihoods are at stake. We have committed to pay our people through various closure scenarios, and any support you are able to give us would be enormously appreciated.’

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