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It is with sadness that we announce that the 2020 pantomimes at Middleton Arena and Heywood Civic Centre have been postponed until 2021.

The impact of Covid-19 and the continuing uncertainty of when theatres can re-open without social distancing restrictions in place means that that the venues have had to make the hard decision to postpone both productions.

Peter Pan at Middleton Arena was due to run from 1 to 28 December.
Cinderella at Heywood Civic Centre was due to run from 1 to 29 December.

The rescheduled dates will now be:
Peter Pan at Middleton Arena: 30 November to 28 December 2021.
Cinderella at Heywood Civic Centre: 18 to 28 December 2021.

Head of Events Jonathan Higgins said: “We are incredibly sad that, owing to the COVID-19 crisis, we won’t be able to present ‘Peter Pan’ at Middleton Arena, or ‘Cinderella’ at Heywood Civic Centre this Christmas. Panto is such an important part of the festive season for many families. Last year we welcomed in excess of 20,000 people to our two pantomimes and thousands of tickets for this years performance had already been snapped up by local schools and performances on Christmas Eve were sold out. The shows employ dozens of actors, dancers, musicians, theatre staff and technical crew; as well as offering a brilliant opportunity for local children to take part in the youth ensemble.

The government has announced that no further guidance or decision will be made around social distancing in theatres until November, which is too late. There is a lot of work that goes into the productions and at this point in the year, we would normally be well underway with casting, creating stage sets and costumes and rehearsing. In addition to the bitter disappointment, our charity and our production partners also face an unprecedented challenge to navigate a way through these exceptionally difficult times for the live events and theatre industry.”

Our Box Office Team will begin to contact ticket holders to offer an automatic transfer to the rescheduled performances. Owing to reduced staffing, remote working and the importance of observing social distancing guidelines, customers are requested not to telephone the Box Office or to come to the venues and are urged to please be patient and wait to be contacted to make arrangements.

Customers can transfer tickets to the 2021 Christmas pantomimes, or transfer the value of those tickets to another show. They may also ask for tickets to be refunded, although in a bid to help protect the long term future of two of Rochdale borough’s most prominent entertainment venues, the charity is asking that customers only request a refund if absolutely necessary.

Any enquiries should wherever possible be sent via email to

Please see the events listings for details of all 2021 shows at Middleton Arena and Heywood Civic Centre.