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Film festival and theatre shows among events cancelled over coronavirus

BFI Flare was due to begin later this week.


BFI Flare was set to take place in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

BFI Flare was set to take place in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

BFI Flare was set to take place in London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A film festival, theatre performances and gigs are among the events to be cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The British Film Institute’s LGBT film festival BFI Flare was cancelled on Monday “due to the scale and complexity of running a large international film festival with filmmakers set to travel to it from across the world”, according to the organisation.

Organisers added that it had been a “difficult decision” to cancel the festival, which aims to showcase LGBT films and had been due to take place from March 18 to 29.

Following the cancellation, organisers said they would be looking at “ways of sharing some elements of BFI Flare digitally”.

On Monday, the Young Vic theatre cancelled all remaining performances of its Nora: A Doll’s House production, which is a reimagining of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play.

It had been due to run at the London theatre until March 21.

This came after the theatre’s sister venue the Old Vic cancelled performances of Endgame, which starred Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming.

The theatre said in a statement that the decision had been taken “with great sadness”, adding: “Given the new travel and other restrictions in place, it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre.”

Singer Jamie Cullum has also cancelled the remainder of his UK tour ahead of planned performances in cities including London, Oxford, Liverpool and Cardiff.

He wrote on Twitter: “When a big tour is out on the road it takes a lot of moves to bring it suddenly to a halt, particularly with no clear directives from our own government.

The Audio and Radio Industry Awards
Jamie Cullum was scheduled to play a number of concerts in the UK (Danny Lawson/PA)

“For now, the breaks are on, and we are working on rescheduling the shows for later in the year, when the universe is a better place.”

It is not just events with audiences that have been hit by the virus outbreak as the filming of a number of TV shows have been halted.

Filming for series six of crime drama Peaky Blinders has been postponed, according to the programme’s Instagram page.

The post said: “After much consideration, and in light of the developing situation concerning Covic-19, the start of production of Peaky Blinders series 6 has been postponed.

View this post on Instagram

An announcement on Peaky Blinders Season 6.

A post shared by Peaky Blinders (@peakyblindersofficial) on

“Huge thanks to our incredible cast and crew, and to all our amazing fans for their continued support.”

A BBC spokesman confirmed that filming had also been postponed for Line Of Duty.

He said: “We will continue to review all productions on a case-by-case basis and will continue to follow the latest news and advice from the Foreign Office, World Health Organisation and Public Health England.”

Vigil series – BBC One
Line Of Duty, which stars Suranne Jones, has also postponed filming (Ian West/PA)

A source close to Netflix’s The Witcher Project said that filming for the series had been halted.

The source said: “Cast and crew health is our primary concern.

“We are dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic that is beyond our control, and in many instances with mandates or restrictions imposed by  governments.”

Production on the third instalment of Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them has also been postponed.

The film, directed by David Yates, will see Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Paterson, Zoe Kravitz and Dan Folger reprising their roles in the Harry Potter prequel. It was due to start production in the UK today.

Warner Bros has already halted production on The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.

A statement from a Warner Bros Pictures spokeswoman said: “Warner Bros Pictures feature production of The Batman will hiatus filming for two weeks beginning today.

“The studio will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Sony is the latest film studio to postpone production on a major project, halting work on Uncharted for six weeks.

The film – a video game adaption starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and Antonio Banderas – had been in pre-production in Berlin.

However, a source close to the project confirmed it is now on hold for six weeks as the industry grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is unknown if the delay will affect Uncharted’s March 2021 release date.

A major LGBTQ awards show set to honour Taylor Swift has been cancelled.

LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD said its Media Awards ceremony, due to take place in Los Angeles on April 16, has been axed.

The group said it is working to reschedule the event for later in the year.

GLAAD’s New York City awards show had already been cancelled. Swift was supposed to pick up the vanguard award at the Los Angeles ceremony.