Coronavirus: Daniel Radcliffe play off as entertainment activity winds down

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Endgame starred (left-right) Daniel Radcliffe, Jane Horrocks, Alan Cumming and Karl Johnson

Daniel Radcliffe’s new play Endgame has become the first major London production to be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Samuel Beckett play started at the Old Vic theatre in January and had been due to run until 28 March.

The venue said it was scrapping the final two weeks “with great sadness”.

Citing travel and other restrictions, the Old Vic said it was “becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre”.

The show also starred Alan Cumming, Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson.

The theatre said: “We are very sympathetic to people’s personal circumstances, as we are to the audiences who are still excited to visit the theatre and see our productions. We are also extremely aware of our employees’ financial dependence on work being presented and tickets being purchased.”

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Jason Manford has explained the decision to keep his musical Curtains on tour

The theatre warned that giving full refunds for all lost performances would be “financially devastating for us”, so asked ticket-holders to consider the ticket price as a donation.

In return, those who do not ask for their money back will receive a filmed recording of the play from earlier in the run and a private video message of appreciation from the cast.

Meanwhile, the Young Vic theatre has cancelled all remaining performances of Nora: A Doll’s House.

The cancellations come amid huge uncertainty about what will happen to the West End and theatres around the UK, as well as music venues, TV shows and other activity in the entertainment world.

On Monday, another meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee will consider whether mass gatherings should be banned.

In New York, Broadway shut down last week and will stay dark for at least a month in a move that could cost $565m (£455m) in lost revenues, based on takings for the equivalent period last year as reported by The Wrap.

On Sunday, actor Jason Manford explained why the tour of the musical Curtains, in which he is starring, was carrying on, saying: “If they suddenly cancelled it without the government’s say so, their insurance would be null and void, putting a lot of those people [staff and crew] in financial ruin.”

Andrew Lloyd-Webber has already postponed the opening of his new musical Cinderella from August to October, blaming coronavirus.

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Ant and Dec said they wanted to “put a few smiles on a few faces tonight”

In other recent developments:

On TV, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway went ahead with a studio audience as planned on ITV at the weekend, with the hosts assuring fans it was “business as usual”.

However, the traditional series finale from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will not take place after the theme park closed its doors. The presenters promised that anyone who had won a place on the plane would still go to Florida at a later date.

Channel 5 scrapped the live audience on The Jeremy Vine Show from Monday “as a precautionary measure”, while Loose Women‘s audience company Standing Room Only said “we do not know when audiences will return to the show”.

Filming on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 3 had been due to begin in London on Monday, but that has been put on hold.

Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series, The Batman, Marvel’s Disney+ shows Loki and WandaVision, Sylvester Stallone’s thriller Samaritan, TV drama The Handmaid’s Tale and Will Smith tennis drama King Richard are among the other productions to have reportedly been suspended.

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Yungblud fans can watch a concert on YouTube instead of in person

North American box office takings over the weekend slumped to their lowest levels for more than two decades as film fans stayed at home and some cinemas limited their capacities.

Disney/Pixar’s animation Onward was the top film with takings of $10.5m (£8.4m) – down from $39m (£31m) last week. And that was before cinemas were ordered to shut in New York and Los Angeles.

In the music world, after cancelling a string of concerts, British pop singer Yungblud is instead streaming a show live from a studio in Los Angeles at 07:00 local time (15:00 GMT).

“I’m an ADHD little idiot [who’s] sat in the bedroom twiddling me thumbs, going, ‘Get me back on stage!'” he told Variety. “So if I can’t get to the stage, I’m going to bring it to them.”

Indie band Blossoms have cancelled the remaining dates of their March UK tour.

And the Academy of Country Music Awards, due to be held in Las Vegas in April, is the latest ceremony to be rescheduled, being postponed to September.

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