You’ll really have to think of it fondly this time, and perhaps forever. After nearly 34 years as a mainstay in London’s West End, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera will be closing due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Variety reports that the show’s producer, Cameron Mackintosh, confirmed the closure in a July 28 column for the Evening Standard. “Andrew and I have had to sadly permanently shut down our London and U.K. touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera,” he wrote, “but are determined to bring it back to London in the future.” Weber himself is also remaining optimistic of a future return, writing on Twitter that “as far as I’m concerned, Phantom will reopen as soon as is possible.”
In addition to Phantom, the West End has been plagued by closures and cancellations due to the pandemic. All West End performances will remain canceled until at least August 2, when indoor performances with appropriate social-distancing measures will be allowed to resume. (New York City’s Broadway shutdown, however, will continue until at least January 2021.) Other West End shows such as Cinderella, the Imelda Staunton–led Hello, Dolly!, and the Timothée Chalamet–starring 4000 Miles have been indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19. Many shows, however, have pledged not to return until January 2021 to help flatten the curve in England, including Hamilton, Les Misérables, and Mary Poppins.