Alban Arena pleads for patience over cancelled shows

The Alban Arena's pantomime of Mother Goose has been postponed to this Christmas.

The Alban Arena's pantomime of Mother Goose has been postponed to this Christmas. - Credit: Alan Davies

The Alban Arena has asked customers to please be patient in their wait for refunds or exchanges as they struggle to cope with the backlog from cancelled shows.

The St Albans venue has apologised for the long delay in contacting punters, as their skeleton staff is still working their way through ticket purchases relating to the first lockdown last year.

The box office remains closed due to the pandemic and so there is no-one available to take calls or pick up messages, meaning all correspondence is via email.

With many staff still on furlough, there is only a small team working on cancelled bookings, so there are not the resources to make exchanges and issue refunds as quickly as usual.

Plus, because of subsequent lockdowns, the period of cancelled shows covers most of last year and now well into 2021, with the latest lockdown at a time when the venue hoped to be opening back up again. This means the team is having to cancel even more bookings, which is adding extra pressure.

A spokesperson for the Arena said: "We have always taken pride in our customer service and we apologise for our lack of communication.  Unfortunately these are difficult times and we are unable to operate business as normal.

"We’d also like to clarify we do have people working but, with limited resources and over 12 months of re-bookings to works through, they are being actioned in chronological order.

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"Please be assured we are doing everything we can in the circumstances to reschedule performances and respond to all queries as quickly as possible.

"Your patience and continued loyalty really is very much appreciated and we hope to welcome you back through the doors as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so."

A large bulk of enquiries are relating to last Christmas' pantomime, which has been postponed until later this year.

The spokesperson added :"We are in discussions with the Mother Goose production company and anticipate having the new dates confirmed in the coming weeks and that ticket holders will have the option to swap dates and times if required and will all be contacted directly once the above has been confirmed."