Windsor's Theatre Royal is closed - following the Government's 'advice' to people not to go to the theatre while the Coronavirus crisis is running.

This week's performances of the Sleeping Beauty were cancelled after Monday and the theatre's co-directors Jon and Anne-Marie Woodley have made a poignant plea to fans of the venue to help prevent the closure becoming permanent.

In a statement released on Tuesday, they said: "We are extremely aware of our 100+ employees’ and our supply chains’ financial dependence on the theatre being open and tickets being purchased.

"We are working hard to reschedule performances and events where possible and where we are successful your tickets will be transferred to the new dates and we will contact you to inform you and confirm you are happy with this.

"As you may be aware, Theatre Royal Windsor is completely unsubsidised, so we receive no funding from either the Government or the council.

"In light of this, a full refund of all lost performances would be financially devastating for us, and as a regional theatre we do not have the ability to sustain potentially prolonged losses, so we are asking all ticket holders for the cancelled performances to consider donating the cost of the ticket rather than requesting a credit note or refund. Your support could make a huge difference to our employees and help this beautiful theatre, with over 240 years history in Windsor, survive for the future."

The current situation will revive memories for some of the financial crisis that briefly closed the theatre in 1996 - before impresario Bill Kenwright stepped in to save the day.

The box office team will now contact patrons who hold tickets for events and performances planned for the coming weeks in chronological order.

Future attractions had included the 1970s disco musical Lost in Music, appearances by comedian John Bishop and a new production of Jane Eyre.

Next week would have seen Joe Pasquale reviving the character of the legendarily accident prone Frank Spencer in a new play based on the sitcom Some Mothers Do Have 'Em.