Hilary Mantel plays early in the curtain amid uncertainty over the ‘ever changing environment’ during the Covid pandemic

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company has canceled plans to extend the play
  • Covid uncertainty means that production of The Mirror And The Light will cease on Nov 28, amid uncertainty about the future
  • Speculation of measures to prevent Covid, known as ‘Plan B’, has risen recently

The Royal Shakespeare Company has cancelled a planned extension of its production of Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light amid Covid uncertainty.

The West End premiered at Gielgud Theatre in the last month. It was extended to January 23rd.

But yesterday the play’s producers and the RSC said the run will now finish on November 28, cancelling the extension.

They wrote in a joint statement: ‘Over recent days, it has become clear that the ever-changing environment creates a level of uncertainty that does not support the risk involved in extending the run beyond its original planned end date.’

The Royal Shakespeare Company cancelled a planned extension to its production of Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light amid Covid uncertain (pictured, Nathaniel Parker portraying Henry VIII, Giles Taylor portraying Cranmer, and Rosanna Adams portraying Anna of Cleves).

The producers said the play – which has a cast of 24 and is the third instalment of the Wolf Hall book trilogy adapted for stage by Miss Mantel and Ben Miles – had ‘created work for hundreds of freelance practitioners after an impossible year’.

Hilary Hadley of the actors’ union Equity said the cancellation of the extension was ‘deeply disappointing’ for its members who will now be out of work during the Christmas period.

Those with tickets for Miss Mantel’s historical drama after the end of November will be offered tickets for the remaining dates or receive a refund.  

Producers claimed that more than 50,000 people would have seen the production’s 75 performances.

The West End show premiered at the Gielgud Theatre at the end of last month and was extended until January 23 but yesterday it was announced the run will now finish on November 28, cancelling the extension. Pictured: author, Hilary Mantel

The West End show was premiered at Gielgud Theatre at end of December. It was extended until January 23, but yesterday, it was announced that the run will end on November 28, cancelling the extension. Pictured by Hilary Mantel, author

They added that the play had ‘enjoyed a hugely successful run, delighting audiences with many commenting that this was their first trip back to the theatre since the initial lockdown 18 months ago’.

Speculation of a tightening of measures to help prevent Covid infections, known as ‘Plan B’, has risen over the last week,

This would include the use of face masks in certain settings and guidance on working from home. However, it would not mean the closing of hospitality venues.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) last week argued in favour of moving ‘fast and early’, although ministers have so far resisted calls to implement Plan B.