Workington’s Carnegie Theatre is ‘going dark’ and has suspended all its performances to avoid contributing to the spread of coronavirus.

It’s a devastating blow for the venue which relies on ticket sales as its main source of income.

The team put out a statement, appealing for the public’s help and say they are determined to survive the closure. They are in the process of contacting every customer who has bought tickets, and are rescheduling their shows for later in the year.

Theatre-goers are being asked to keep their tickets for the new dates, turn their purchases into a donation or ask for a credit note which can be used for another show.

Theatre manager Karen Thompson said: “We are suspending all theatre and arts centre operations in order to avoid contributing to the spread of Coronavirus Covid-19, and in line with UK Government advice.

“This action is a critical threat to the Carnegie and to the livelihoods of all those who work in the arts. Most of our funding comes from people like you, coming to see our performances. Without these performances, the vast majority of our income is gone.

“But we do not believe that it is practical or responsible for us to stage shows while people’s lives are at risk. We are determined to survive, to retain our dedicated team, and to get our shows back on track as soon as possible.”

The venue is a charitable trust and does not receive Arts Council funding so donations are needed to ensure it the theatre and community hub can reopen as soon as official advice says it is safe to do so.

Karen added: “We are a registered charity, and any donation – large or small – will ensure that our theatre stays thriving, long after this crisis is past.

“We’re initially planning to relaunch in the summer and welcome you back for more fantastic performances.”

Café Carnegie will remain open for the time being – the layout has been rearranged to put greater distance between the tables and enhanced cleaning processes are in place. They are also offering a takeaway menu for those who don’t want to eat in. Customers can place their orders by calling 01900 600709.

To make a donation go to at