Middlesbrough's ever-popular pantomime has been put on hold - but Theatre bosses have vowed that the show will go on next year.
This year's production of Peter Pan - set to star Mark Little and Philip Green - is the latest victim of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Middlesbrough Theatre is not alone - to date 65 pantos across the country have been cancelled or postponed and it is estimated that the cost of losing pantomimes nationally could top £90 million.
Theatre Manager David Lindsey said: "We have been working tirelessly with our co-producers Extravaganza Productions to find a way of bringing panto to Middlesbrough this year, even though social distancing measures reduce our seating capacity to less than a third.
"However, the current rise in the infection rate and the risks it brings with it makes it impossible for us to plan with any confidence and we have therefore - with a heavy heart - decided to postpone the production to 2021.
"We are delighted that the cast - including Mark and Philip - have agreed to join us again next year and we are looking at bringing some alternative entertainment to the theatre for audiences to enjoy this Christmas.
"We are grateful to Extravaganza Productions, our wonderful cast, loyal audiences and, above all, to Middlesbrough Council, for their continued support at this unprecedented time."
In the meantime, the Theatre's outdoor season at Newham Grange Farm and in the Town Hall Courtyard is proving highly successful, with further performances due to be announced shortly.
Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "The Middlesbrough Theatre panto is renowned as one of the real highlights of the year, and one that's been entertaining audiences young and old for many years.
"Sadly the impact of Covid-19 has hit theatres and other venues especially hard, and it simply isn't practical to put on such productions for the time being.
"I know that it will be back next year bigger, brighter and better than ever and can't wait to be in the audience myself."