The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and U.K. Theatre have confirmed theaters across the West End will shut on Sept. 19, the day of the Queen’s funeral.
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“Due to the scheduling of the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and out of respect for all who are mourning, most shows in central London have now announced that they will be closing on 19 September,” the two groups said in a joint statement.
“Ticketholders will receive an email from their point of purchase with details regarding exchanges and refunds. Throughout the period of national mourning, performances will go ahead as planned but we would advise audiences coming into central London to allow more time for their journeys to and from the theatre from Wednesday when the Queen will be lying in State.”
On Sunday night, before the funeral, West End theaters plan to hold a minute-long silence in honor of the Queen, prior to curtain up, at 8pm.
The decision to shutter theaters will no doubt have been a difficult one, giving the financial pressures the West End is currently under, from the long-term effects of COVID-related closures to the current energy price crisis.
STRICTLY COME DANCING
The BBC have confirmed that the launch of hit dance show “Strictly Come Dancing” has been delayed by a week due to the Queen’s funeral.
The show was originally set to launch on Saturday, Sept. 17. However with the funeral set to take place on Monday, Sept. 19, bosses at the Beeb have moved the start of the show to Friday, Sept. 23. The first live show will take place as planned the following evening.
The broadcaster has also confirmed that “Frozen Planet II” will continue on BBC One on Sunday, Sept. 18 followed by the premiere of “Bloodlands” season 2 while “Crossfire” will premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 20 and this season’s “Celebrity Masterchef” final will take place on Thursday, Sept. 22.
The next day the fourth season of “Ghosts” will air alongside the debut of new comedy series from Daisy May Cooper, “Am I Being Unreasonable?”
The BBC has also confirmed its broadcasting plans for the Queen’s state funeral, with special programming and coverage the night before as well as on the day. BBC One will also broadcast “Paddington” on Saturday, Sept. 18 followed by “Paddington 2” on Monday Sept. 19, after the funeral, in tribute to Her Majesty’s special relationship with the bear.
The British Film Institute (BFI) has canceled the first day of its London Film Festival (LFF) pre-festival program because it was set to clash with the Queen’s funeral on Monday Sept. 19.
“The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place on Monday 19 September and has been declared a national bank holiday,” the organization said in an email on Tuesday (Sept. 13). “In light of this news, we will now be commencing our pre-Festival programme from 20 September. Those films that were scheduled to take place on the 19 September will be accommodated later in the Festival.”
The pre-festival program consists of press and industry screenings, which are split into two blocks. Among those included in the first block are “Enys Men,” “Holy Spider” and “Fast & Feel Love.”
One of King Charles III’s first acts as monarch was to declare the day of the Queen’s funeral a public holiday. Many businesses are set to close as well as schools and other institutions.
LFF is set to kick off on Oct. 5 and will run until Oct. 16. Among the films premiering at the festival are “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” #MeToo thriller “She Said,” which tells the story of how two New York Times journalists broke the Harvey Weinstein story, and “The Son,” Florian Zeller’s long-awaited follow-up to “The Father.”
TICKET TO PARADISE
Universal has postponed the U.K. release of Ol Parker’s “Ticket to Paradise,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, as a mark of respect to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The film, which was due to release Sept. 16, will now release on Sept. 20, a day after the Queen’s funeral.
A Universal spokesperson said: “With the passing of Her Majesty the Queen, Universal, Working Title, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and director Ol Parker have all decided to delay the opening of ‘Ticket to Paradise’ in the U.K. until after the Queen’s funeral out of respect to the Royal Family and the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
In the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, the U.K. has postponed several scheduled events as a mark of respect to the departed monarch.
Sky has postponed the scheduled launch of Michael Winterbottom’s Boris Johnson drama “This England,” starring Kenneth Branagh, from Sept. 21 to until after the official period of mourning, to Sept. 28.
The Premier League has postponed this weekend and Monday evening’s soccer games. The FA has confirmed that soccer fixtures across the Barclays Women’s Super League, Barclays Women’s Championship, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, and the Isuzu FA Trophy, will be postponed this weekend and that all soccer fixtures across the National League System, Steps 1-6, including the Vanarama National Leagues, the Women’s Football Pyramid, Tiers 3-7, and matches across grassroots soccer in England will be postponed.
In alignment, all EFL soccer fixtures from Sept. 9-10 September are also postponed.
ITV and Indigo Television have decided to reschedule this year’s National Television Awards from Sept. 15 to Oct. 13.
Meanwhile nonstop coverage of events following the death of the Queen continue across all U.K. broadcasters. Sky News will broadcast a highlights program at 9pm each night presented live from Buckingham Palace by Trevor Phillips, featuring pictures of the day and key figures involved in the day’s ceremonies as well as the people who’ve witnessed them, including Saturday’s Accession Council and the Queen’s Lying in State.
On Friday, Sky Showcase and Sky Arts will show a new documentary: “Elizabeth II: A Life of Duty,” a look back at the life of the Queen, followed by “The Queen’s People” and “King Charles – The Third Modern Monarch” on Sky News, Sky Showcase, and Sky Arts on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Sky News will not carry advertising across this weekend or throughout Monday.
Meanwhile on ITV on Saturday, “ITV News: The Proclamation of the King” will cover King Charles III’s formal accession to the throne. This will be followed by a documentary narrated by Nicola Walker, “Our Queen, The People’s Stories,” where people from all walks of life reflect on meeting the Queen and share how those moments affected their lives.
In “The Queen in Her Own Words,” narrated by Julie Etchingham, speeches, letters, broadcasts and personal memoirs are used to reveal the public and private side of Queen Elizabeth II over nearly a century of tumultuous change.
“Queen and Country,” narrated by Alison Steadman, explores the Queen’s love of life in the countryside across Scotland, Norfolk and Windsor through the eyes of those who came into contact with her and shared her passion for the rural life.
The BBC also has abundant coverage related to the news. Scheduled for Saturday are “The Proclamation of HM The King,” “Picturing Elizabeth: Her Life in Images,” “The Queen and Us: 50s,” “The Queen and Us: 60s,” “The One Show: Our Queen Remembered,” “Elizabeth: The Unseen Queen” and “When the Queen Spoke to the Nation.”
The BBC’s Sunday schedule features “HM The King: The National Proclamations,” “Songs of Praise: Queen Elizabeth II,” “Elizabeth: Her Passions & Pastimes,” “The Queen and Us: 70s,” “The Queen and Us: 80s,” “Countryfile – Queen & Country,” “Antiques Roadshow: The Queen and Britannia” and “The Longest Reign: The Queen and Her People.”
Elsewhere, cinemas remain open at the moment, but are likely to close on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
The Society of London Theatre and U.K. Theatre have advised that theaters will remain open for the duration of the period of national mourning up until the funeral.
Theaters across the U.K. will be dimming their lights at 7pm for two minutes each evening as a mark of respect, which is theater’s traditional way to honor those that have passed.
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