The planned West End production of Christmas pantomime Puss in Boots, which was due to run at the Arts Theatre from 30 November 2010 (previews from 18 November) to 9 January 2011, has been cancelled following a dispute between the Arts' landlord, Consolidated St Giles LLP, and its current tenant Brasrat Ltd, who have been given notice to leave the building by 13 December.
The Tiny Tim production of Puss in Boots had been scheduled since the beginning of the year, following the success A Christmas Carol, the company's first Christmas show at the same address last year. As with the Dickens, the new family-friendly musical offering was to be written by Susie McKenna with a score by Steven Edis.
EastEnders' Kacey Ainsworth had been cast to star as the Wicked Queen, alongside Whatsonstage.com Award winner Ben James Ellis (Hairspray, Dreamboats and Petticoats, TV's Any Dream Will Do) as Principal Boy, David Anthony as the King, Selina Chilton as the Fairy, Alice Fearn as the Princess, Arvid Larsen as the Prince and Sebastien Torkia as Puss. The production was to be directed by Joe Harmston and designed by Lotte Collett, with lighting by David Howe, sound by Richard Brooker and musical direction by Ian MacGregor.
According to the press release, "Tiny Tim Productions, the producers of Puss in Boots, have been left with no alternative other than to cancel the production. The current tenant of the Arts Theatre, Brasrat Ltd, were unable to come to an agreement with the Landlord, Consolidated St Giles LLP, to remain in the building after 13 December 2010, which meant they could not guarantee that the run of Puss in Boots could take place as anticipated. Although Brasrat Ltd did not accept the landlord's position was strictly correct, the only option left was to take legal action against the landlord. Any such action would take weeks to resolve and could not ensure that the production would not be disrupted during its planned run. Brasrat Ltd did explore a number of alternative routes, but none of these have proved possible."
Theatregoers who have already bought tickets for Puss in Boots should contact the box office on 020 7907 7092 for refunds.