The health and safety of the cast, crew and many volunteers is the main reason for the cancellation of the local production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The decision to cancel rather than postpone for a second time was made last week by the production team.
The highly anticipated show was set to be a joint production involving the Ashburton Trust Event Centre (ATEC) and Variety Theatre Ashburton.
It was originally to have been performed in late August and September last year, but was rescheduled to March this year because of the covid situation.
ATEC manager and Jesus Christ Superstar director Roger Farr said the decision to cancel the show altogether had been “heartbreaking”.
It was lining up to be an incredible production and a lot of time and effort had been put in by so many people.
Mr Farr said the cast and crew involved numbered 110 people and putting their health and safety on the line was not worth the risk of continuing.
“We have a responsibility and commitment towards protecting these people from the potential loss of education and employment due to isolation requirements or worse, and the production team feels this is the only decision we could make.”
Mr Farr said he, musical director Jo Castelow and chorographer Julia Bell couldn’t thank the cast and crew enough for its incredible commitment to date.
“Sometimes, the show just can’t go on.”
Mr Farr said he was grateful to the sponsors that had stuck with the production and the roller coaster ride over the last 10 months.
An application to recoup costs incurred by the Jesus Christ Superstar production will now be made to an events support scheme set up by the Government.
Mr Farr said he was hopeful that much of what had been spent would be recovered.
The production budget was $120,000, but costs incurred to date were less than that, he said.
Ticket refunds for the show will also be available and ATEC is working that process.