A CHILDREN’S production of Oliver! has fallen victim to this week’s two-day strike by council workers.
A talented 46-strong team from Footloose Musicals was due to stage the Lionel Bart show at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall on four nights this week, starting tonight.
But the industrial action by local government workers in support of their latest pay claim today and tomorrow (Thursday) means the hall will have to stay closed - and two nights’ performances lost.
Cast members, aged eight to 21, were devastated when they heard the news at their rehearsal last Wednesday night and some were even in tears.
They are now pinning their hopes on attracting full-house audiences on Friday and Saturday nights.
The youngsters have been working hard to prepare for the show since September and every cast member committed to two or three rehearsals a week.
Barry Hickon-Germon, spokesman for Ellesmere Port Musical Theatre which operates Footloose, said: “The strike by council workers from Unison is a huge disappointment to all the children involved, our dedicated committee and of course our audiences, many of whom have already purchased tickets.”
He added: “Everyone involved has worked extremely hard to enable the society to continue performing every year. As a charity this is very difficult as we struggle to make ends meet.
“We will now lose a substantial amount of money on ticket revenue. However, we will still have to pay for scenery, orchestra, costumes and the like.
“All we can ask now is that our children are rewarded for all of their hard work and commitment and play to full houses on both Friday and Saturday night.
“Please give us your support and help put a smile back on their faces.”
For tickets, contact the box office on 0151 355 1453.