If you bought tickets to “Matilda” as Christmas gifts, expect to get a call about refunds.
The Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” was supposed to be restaged Feb. 7-8 at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, but over the weekend, the February shows were cancelled.
The show was staged initially last October with four sold-out performances and starring Molly Guthro, a Grade 5 student at Mountainview School, as Matilda. The story is about a girl who dreams of a better life and has been described as girl power romp.
Savoy executive director Pam Leader said she had been mulling the decision for a while but finally decided the costs and the time of year made the restaging too risky at this time.
“I looked at all the numbers and I couldn’t justify taking that kind of a chance, especially in February,” said Leader on Monday.
Staging a show like Matilda is expensive, according to Leader. For example, just paying for the rights alone is about $11,000 for the two nights that were scheduled. Then there are also the costs of getting the sets back up and paying for crew. Despite what some may think, restaging a show is just as expensive as starting from scratch, she adds.
“Sometimes people think a remount is easier but it’s really not,” she said. “You still have to rebuild that whole set — there are still a lot of costs along with the rights and the more I looked at the numbers I thought I can’t take a chance on it not selling as well as the first time around because here we are in the middle of winter too.”
In addition to fewer people coming out because of the cold weather, February is also known for its snowstorms. That can lead to cancellations or poor turnout, neither of which the theatre can afford when mounting an expensive production.
Leader says she prefers to mount smaller, less costly shows during that time of the year.
“It’s scary to do something that big for February and I can’t put this theatre in a position if I’m not 100 per cent sure of it.”
Matilda director and co-producer Wesley Colford said he wasn’t happy with the news but that he respected Leader’s reasoning behind the decision.
“I’m pretty devastated by this — I really love that show,” said Colford on Monday morning. “But we discussed it at great length and I absolutely respect her intuition and instincts on this.
“I can’t fault her but I ultimately, personally disagree.”
Refunds are available for those who have already purchased tickets.