With the cast fully rehearsed and ready to open just two days later, the news that nobody wanted to hear came when Matt Hancock announced to the House that Buckinghamshire was part of the huge swathe of south-east England that would move to Tier 3 with effect from 00:01 on the day the production should have opened.
Under Tier 3 restrictions, all live performance venues must close and a spokesman for Milton Keynes Theatre later confirmed:
"We are busy reviewing the government's latest Tier announcement today and the impact it has on our venue and our socially-distanced panto, Sleeping Beauty.
We can confirm today we will not be able to go ahead with performances between this weekend and 10 January. We are working on further update for all ticket holders and will share this as soon as we are able to.
We'd like to thank our customers for their patience and amazing support."
There is a glimmer of hope, however, that the show will go on... eventually. Lee mentioned in radio interviews on the day - including his chat with Dan Wootton for talkRADIO - that the producers, QDOS, have a contingency plan to reschedule the show for February/March 2021. This is not yet confirmed but I hope there may be good news in the coming days.