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toy show the musical

Further performances of 'Toy Show: The Musical' cancelled due to cast illness

It comes after five performances of the show were cancelled at the weekend due to illness among the cast and crew.

TWO MORE PERFORMANCES of RTÉ’s Toy Show: The Musical have been cancelled due to illness in the cast. 

It comes after five performances of the show were cancelled at the weekend for the same reason. 

The show has proved controversial after most of its performances failed to sell out, and the Dáil’s public spending watchdog asked RTÉ to explain how much money it has spent on the production.

In a statement this morning, RTÉ said: “It was with deep regret that due to illness in the cast and crew Toy Show the Musical had to cancel a number of shows on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of December. ​

“While there is a significant degree of resilience in the cast, where roles can be covered by understudies, given illness persists among a cast of predominantly children, it is necessary to make further adjustments to the schedule this week,” the statement read.

“On Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd we will be reducing the number of shows from three performances a day to two, cancelling the 12.30 show on Wednesday and the 7.30pm show on Thursday.”

People who have tickets for the cancelled performances will be contacted by Ticketsolve regarding rescheduling or refunds.

In addition, for those who missed the show due to the cancellations, RTÉ are offering a 25% discount on tickets to attend a show this week or next.

“We sincerely hope those affected by the cancellations can find a time to come and see the show,” the statement continued.

“The Toy Show the Musical team is truly sorry for the real inconvenience these changes have caused. We have been monitoring and responding to ticket holders on social platforms and are very aware of how disappointed and upset families were that the shows were cancelled, particularly at such short notice.

“The team tried its very best to make the shows happen, but ran out of time and options and had to cancel. The adjustments we are making to the schedule this week are to minimise the risk of that happening again.”

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne this morning, RTÉ’s director of strategy Rory Coveney apologised to those who had bought tickets for the cancelled performances.

“We did everything we could to get the show on on Saturday evening and unfortunately, due to another cast member falling ill very late, we had to cancel the show and then subsequently cancel the shows on Sunday,” Coveney said.

“For us and the team, it was devastating for us, and more importantly it was devastating for the audience, many of whom have travelled from around the country… They were sitting there on Saturday evening and one of our colleagues here, one of the producers of the show, went out and explained what had happened.”

He said the show has a very young cast consisting mainly of children. “We have to protect their well being and their health, and as they began falling ill, we can rotate different cast members from the ensemble into different roles, but we just literally ran out a road.”

Coveney said he was disappointed with ticket sales for the show, but that he hopes it will be a long-term investment. 

“We’ve created a lot of original songs, we’ve created an original story, we’ve built a beautiful set which can be stored and brought back. In terms of the long run, this was always going to be a longer term investment. Obviously we’ll have to review everything like we would any creative project.”

Asked if it will now be brought back, he said he did not know.

“Like any creative project, you put your best foot forward, you put it out there and we will have to look at it in the round. We’ve used exactly the same approach when it comes to drama series or any other project.”

Toy Show: The Musical is running through December in the 2,000-seater Convention Centre in Dublin.

RTÉ previously confirmed that one scheduled day of shows was to be replaced with a rehearsal day.

The Irish Independent reported last week that just one of the musical’s 30 shows had sold out prior to opening night.

The production has also been criticised for having an unfair advantage over smaller pantomime shows, which were largely cancelled over the last two years due to the pandemic.

Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy is not involved in Toy Show: The Musical, which is the brainchild of Late Late Show producers Jane Murphy and Katherine Drohan.

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