Daniel Radcliffe’s new play Endgame has become the first major London production to be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Samuel Beckett play started at the Old Vic theatre in January and had been due to run until 28 March.
The venue said it was scrapping the final two weeks “with great sadness”.
Citing travel and other restrictions, the Old Vic said it was “becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre”.
The show also starred Alan Cumming, Jane Horrocks and Karl Johnson.
The theatre said: “We are very sympathetic to people’s personal circumstances, as we are to the audiences who are still excited to visit the theatre and see our productions. We are also extremely aware of our employees’ financial dependence on work being presented and tickets being purchased.”
The theatre warned that giving full refunds for all lost performances would be “financially devastating for us”, so asked ticket-holders to consider the ticket price as a donation.
In return, those who do not ask for their money back will receive a filmed recording of the play from earlier in the run and a private video message of appreciation from the cast.
The cancellation comes amid huge uncertainty about what will happen to the West End and theatres around the UK.
On Sunday, actor Jason Manford explained why the tour of the musical Curtains, in which he is starring, was carrying on, saying: “If they suddenly cancelled it without the government’s say so, their insurance would be null and void, putting a lot of those people [staff and crew] in financial ruin.”
Andrew Lloyd-Webber has already postponed the opening of his new musical Cinderella from August to October, blaming coronavirus.
The spread of the pandemic has had a major impact on the entertainment industry around the world, with filming halted on numerous TV shows and films, movie releases delayed, and many music tours and festivals called off.
On TV, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway went ahead with a studio audience as planned on ITV at the weekend, with the hosts assuring fans it was “business as usual”.
However, the traditional series finale from the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will not take place after the theme park closed its doors. The presenters promised that anyone who had won a place on the plane would still go to Florida at a later date.
Channel 5 scrapped the live audience on The Jeremy Vine Show from Monday “as a precautionary measure”.