Hangmen has become the first major Broadway show to close because of the coronavirus crisis. Martin McDonagh’s comedy drama about the colorful low lives of an English pub in 1965, is closing without opening after playing 13 preview performances. Ticket buyers have been promised refunds.
“Because of the current health crisis which has created circumstances beyond our control, it is with deep regret that we are not able to resume performances of Hangmen,” the producers Robert Fox, Jean Doumanian, Elizabeth I. McCann, and Craig Balsam said in a statement. “With no definite end in sight of the government’s closure and Broadway’s suspension, we have no alternative but to release the actors from their contracts and close the production.”
Hangmen, which won the U.K. Olivier Award for Best Play, had been due to open March 19.
“Given our show’s budget and capitalization, we do not have the economic resources to be able to continue to pay the theater owners, cast and crew through this still undefined closure period,” the producers said. “Therefore, in the interests of all involved, we regretfully have no choice but to close the show. We are all extremely disappointed that we cannot give Martin McDonagh and our fabulous director (Matthew Dunster), cast and team the celebrated opening they all deserve.”
The Royal Court Theatre/Atlantic Theater Company play had run off-Broadway in 2018 to positive reviews; this critic said it was “the best new play in New York.”
Hangmen could be the first of a clutch of shows to close. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Broadway’s closure on March 12, it was scheduled to last until April 13. But as the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, theaters—as well as many other businesses—may be shuttered for longer.