Grand Theatre: Copacabanjaxed

Copacabana, the Barry Manilow musical

Copacabana, the Barry Manilow musical

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Blackpool Grand Theatre has announced that next week’s billed run of Copacabana, the Barry Manilow musical, has been cancelled.

After four days trying to contact ASH Productions Live, the company behind the national touring show, the decision was made to cancel the shows, due to have begun on Monday.

The theatre said a run in Bournemouth last week was cut short and that this week’s performances inNewcastle had not gone ahead.

These cancellations were due, it has been reported, to a row over the non-payment of cast, crew and suppliers.

Grand chief executive Ruth Eastwood said: “We were shocked and surprised to learn of the difficulties with the tour of Copacabana, which was selling well at The Grand.

“In the circumstances, which are totally out of our control, we will, of course, contact all our customers and refund their tickets with apologies for the understandable disappointment this cancellation will cause.”

The theatre first tried to make contact with ASH Productions Live on Sunday and has made numerous phone calls and sent emails since then, but no reply has been received.

The Barry Manilow musical was due to star Jon Lee of former S Club 7 fame - who wowed crowds during the Illuminations’ Switch On Festival this summer.

A spokesman for actors’ union Equity has confirmed it is working with cast members after news of the cancellations.

Back in August, the Grand was forced to go dark when a national tour of the musical Annie Get Your Gun starring Jason Donovan cancelled its final weeks’ shows – including its Blackpool run.