Thurrock's annual pantomime has been postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Thurrock Council's Thameside Theatre in Grays, and production company Polka Dot Pantomimes, made the difficult decision to postpone this year's panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Tickets that have already been purchased for the 2020 performance will be refunded automatically, and customers will be contacted by the Thameside Theatre box office during the next few weeks.
Cllr Deb Huelin, Cabinet member for communities, said: "This was an incredibly difficult decision to make as our annual pantomime at Grays Thameside Theatre has always been a festive highlight for families and social groups across Thurrock and even further afield.
"I know how disappointed our audiences will be, but their safety will always be paramount. We are passionate about the shows we put on at our theatre and hope everyone will understand why we have had to make this tough decision with Polka Dot Pantomimes."
Darren Maddison, of Polka Dot Pantomimes, said: "We feel that our priority must be the health and welfare of our cast, crew, creative team, chorus, chaperones and all those that work at the Thameside Theatre, as well as the ever loyal audiences that enjoy our pantomime each year."
The theatre is in talks with Polka Dot Pantomimes to develop an alternative Christmas treat, subject to government decisions and social distancing measures during the coming months.
Cllr Huelin added: "Our teams are really working hard to provide residents with a different festive experience, government guidelines permitting, and hope to see you all soon."
For more information on the Thameside Theatre, go to thurrock.gov.uk/theatre