Theatres across Oldham and Saddleworth have closed their doors as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
Oldham Coliseum shut on Monday, March 16 and they confirmed the decision on their website.
The statement said: “Following official government advice, which stipulates that people should avoid public buildings including theatres, we’re really sorry to announce that the Coliseum will be closed from tonight, to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
“We understand how disappointed our audiences will be but we have taken this decision with the health and safety of our community and colleagues at the forefront.
“We will work with UK Theatre and colleagues in the industry to do the best for our audiences going forward.
“We will be contacting tickets holders over the coming days; please bear with us while we do this as we will be exceptionally busy.
“Like the Coliseum, many theatres that have been forced to cancel performances are charities, and while ticketholders are all entitled to a refund for cancelled performances, we would ask that, if you can, please make a donation to the theatre to enable us to continue to make great theatre in Oldham, as soon as we’re able.”
Lyceum Theatre Oldham has cancelled its upcoming production of ‘A Life’, which was due to run from March 27 – April 4.
Theatre chairman Phil McCarthy said: “Having reviewed government advice and all available information regarding the coronavirus, we have made the decision to cancel and/or postpone our next play ‘A Life’.
“We will review whether we can perform the play we planned for June, ‘Holiday Snap’, in the coming weeks.
“The decision is not taken lightly and is based upon minimising the risk of infection to all those who visit our theatre.
“Protecting the health of all our members, volunteers and audiences is paramount over the coming difficult months.
“Although we believe the risk of infection is very small at present we have to consider the wellbeing of the more vulnerable members of the above groups and the danger of onward transmission to them.
“We trust you appreciate the reason for this difficult decision and we will advise you in the very near future about potential changes to future plays and ticket refunds too.”
And Playhouse 2 in Shaw has postponed or cancelled all productions until future notice.
A statement posted on the theatre’s website on March 17 said: “It is with much regret that in line with government guidelines and restrictions that we, the Playhouse 2 Management Committee, have decided to postpone or cancel all upcoming plays, gigs, films and our youth theatre until a time deemed appropriate to reopen.
“This was not an easy decision to make but it is paramount that we keep the best interests of our audiences and volunteers at heart during this unprecedented and difficult time. We hope that you understand and can offer us your patience as we work through this process.
“If you have booked tickets with us using Ticketsource you will be refunded automatically in the next couple of weeks.
“For those of you who have not provided us with email addresses, for example if you are a season ticket holder, we will be in touch by post.
“If you bought a ticket at It’s A Shaw Thing and left no contact details please can you retain your ticket and either email us at email@example.com or write to us at Crompton Stage Society, Playhouse 2, 2 Newtown Street, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 8NX with your bank details and booking reference, which can be found on the ticket.
“For anyone whose children attend our youth theatre, again please check your emails for updates on our course of action.”