By Maureen Lee Lenker
March 20, 2020 at 07:51 PM EDT

Hangmen isn't coming to Broadway after all.

The new Martin McDonagh comedy, which was originally set to open on Broadway on March 19, won't be resuming production whenever the Broadway shutdown ends. After winning Best Play at the Olivier Awards for its 2016 West End production, Hangmen looked to be one of the buzziest plays on Broadway this spring. It began performances Feb. 28 at Broadway's Golden Theatre and played 13 previews before the health and safety suspension of Broadway on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It's the first permanent cancellation to arise from the Broadway shutdown, but given the nature of production costs, it likely won't be the last.

"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 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. 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. 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, cast and team the celebrated opening they all deserve."

Joan Marcus

The play made its U.S. premiere Off Broadway in January 2018 at the Atlantic Theater Company.

The Broadway production was set to star Game of Thrones' Mark Addy and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens. Other cast members included Tracie Bennett (End of the Rainbow) as Alice, Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting) as Syd, Owen Campbell (Indian Summer) as Clegg, Gaby French (Military Wives) as Shirley, John Hodgkinson (The Ferryman) as Pierrepoint, Richard Hollis (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) as Bill, and John Horton (Anything Goes) as Arthur.

Set in England in 1965, Hangmen explores what Britain’s second-most-famous executioner will do now that hanging has been abolished. The simple answer is: a lot more than he bargained for. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry is something of a local celebrity, and the cub reporters and pub regulars are dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, while his old assistant Syd and the mysterious Mooney lurk with very different motives for their visit.

Producers have confirmed that those who already purchased tickets with a credit card from Telecharge, TKTS, TDF, or the box office will automatically be refunded.

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

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