Producer Antony Stuart-Hicks told The Stage that the production first hit financial difficulties when a major investor pulled out due to ill health prior to the show's opening at the Harlow Playhouse. Money also did not materialize from another investor when the show went to Southsea.
Stuart-Hicks and other producers (the show is co-produced with Paul Leno for Dancing Fool Theatrical Ltd) put personal money into the production to keep it alive, but they were forced to cancel dates in Bournemouth. Additionally, a run planned for Newcastle had been canceled by the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre because of disappointing ticket sales, causing a domino effect — media reports prompted the Blackpool Grand Theatre to cancel its run.
"That venue [the Blackpool Grand Theatre] would have meant everyone could be paid up to date," said Stuart-Hicks. "Whatever financial hurdles we have faced, it's our duty to pay everyone."
According to Stuart-Hicks, ticket sales for the 2015 dates were positive, and the show will still run next year. He added that he would welcome "anyone who wants to work on the tour, without prejudice."
Equity has been working with the producers and cast, and a meeting was held with the Musicians' Union to establish exactly who is owed what following the collapse of the 2014 tour.
Jon Lee, former member of the U.K. pop group S Club 7, whose stage credits include playing Marius in Les Misérables and Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys in the West End, starred with Richard Grieve in the production.
The musical is co-written with Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman.
The website for the production, CopacabanaTheMusical.co.uk, has been suspended.