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Family of Ashford dad who suffered brain tumour left 'heartbroken' after planned Christmas trip to Snow White panto at The Friars is cancelled

A family who were heading to the pantomime as a Christmas treat after a relative suffered a brain tumour have been left "heartbroken" after bosses pulled the plug on all remaining performances.

Jan Williams, 60, and husband Wayne, 68, had bought tickets for them and their five grandchildren - Lucy, 11, Ella, eight, Chloe, five, Jake, five, and Daisy, two - to see Snow White at The Friars in Aylesford on December 27.

However, promoter Danny Wright announced on Tuesday morning that all remaining shows had been cancelled, leaving hundreds of spectators in limbo just days before Christmas.

Performances of Snow White have been cancelled.
Performances of Snow White have been cancelled.

Many have since taken to social media to express their disappointment, but the news was especially sad for Mr and Mrs Williams, whose son Del, was diagnosed with the illness earlier this year.

Mrs Williams, of Park Farm, Ashford, said: "We were looking to go somewhere a bit different.

Listen to Mrs Williams here

"They had not been to see Snow White so we thought that would be an ideal place to go. With the Winter Wonderland as well, we were going to make a day of it.

"I was upset because they said yesterday they were halfway through the panto and it was going well and had good reviews, so to say the next day it has been completely cancelled just didn't make sense.

"We thought we would spoil the grandchildren a little bit more this year - they've seen their dad going through seizures and they've coped so well.

"It's just heartbreaking really to think that we won't be able to go now."

Despite not yet knowing if they'll get their money back, the family has since been desperately trying to book tickets for an alternative performance elsewhere.

A number of offers to help those affected have been made since the announcement, including at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone, which is set to lay on another performance of Aladdin later this month.

Picturehouse Cinema in Ashford are offering the family complimentary tickets and free soft drinks and popcorn, if they would like to visit them instead. Spokesman Corrina Antrobus said: "We were particularly moved by Jan's story, who after a particularly difficult year for her family, was looking forward to a family day out.

"As a goodwill gesture, we would like to invite them as our guest to our brand new Ashford Picturehouse on December 27, the day they hoped to go to the panto. We will be showing Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, the exciting new Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Holmes And Watson and plenty more. "

Meanwhile, bosses at Leeds Castle stepped up to put on an alternative day out for a group of 62 adults with learning difficulties who were set to attend the panto today.

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