Youngsters heartbroken after panto axed

By Richard SmithA LAST-MINUTE decision to cancel a pantomime has left almost 20 young dancers disappointed.Children in the dance and drama school at the Angel Theatre in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, were eagerly looking forward to taking to the stage with a professional cast in the New Year.

By Richard Smith

A LAST-MINUTE decision to cancel a pantomime has left almost 20 young dancers disappointed.

Children in the dance and drama school at the Angel Theatre in Rendlesham, near Woodbridge, were eagerly looking forward to taking to the stage with a professional cast in the New Year.

They had been practising their routines throughout the festive season and four children were thrilled to have been chosen as Panto Babes.


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But the show, Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood, was suddenly pulled from the schedule by the production company.

That has left theatre manager Stuart Aldridge with a major headache as he has had to inform hundreds of people who have bought tickets for the show and has been trying to find an alternative panto.

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Mr Aldridge has now obtained a professional production of Dick Whittington for January 6 and he is hoping that the group will also perform on January 7 and 8.

Theatregoers who had booked seats for the original panto will either have a refund or be given seats for the substitute panto.

The cast for Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood had included one of Britain's top panto dames, Curley Carter, who has been seen in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, and Peak Practice actor Stuart Davenport.

Mr Aldridge said: "We were given very short notice that the production company had decided they would not come. They were supposed to come to us on January 4 and they have decided not to come. We have a contract with them and we are hoping we will get compensation.

"The company was going to use our dance school and we had 18 children in two teams. They are disappointed that the company is not coming, but this does sometimes happen with a touring company."

Mr Aldridge has been trying to ring as many people as possible who had booked tickets for the original panto, but anyone whom he has not managed to contact should call the theatre on 01394 461538.

No-one from the production company for Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood was available for comment.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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