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Suppliers say they are owed money by Maidstone Snow White panto promoters


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Companies who supplied equipment to the failed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime have hit back at comments made by the promoters.

Events Hire Group is owed nearly £60,000 after they agreed to a payment plan.

Danny Wright, from Maidstone Panto Ltd, released a statement this morning announcing the cancellation of all future performances of the show at The Friars in Aylesford.

The site is being dismantled today
The site is being dismantled today

In it Mr Wright said: "Although we have had much support from many contractors, locals and The Friars, a select few are not willing to make this work."

Fred Mansfield, a director of the Event Hire Group, whose companies supplied the heating, toilets and power for the event said: "Usually we expect to take our fee up front, unless we know the event promoters well.

"On this occasion, we were persuaded to agree a payment plan with them, with a small deposit followed by payments in instalment.

"When they missed the third instalment we decided enough was enough and began removing our equipment."

Mr Mansfield said: "Last night we had a courtesy call from the company that supplied the tent, saying they would be removing it this morning.

"It's the same story all over.

"When they missed the third instalment we decided enough was enough and began removing our equipment..." Fred Mansfield

"The promoters couldn't have had any more help from suppliers than they've had.

"In the events business, this sort of sudden closure does happen from time to time, but I haven't seen anything like this, on this scale, for at least 10 years."

Mr Mansfield estimated his company was owed £56,000.

He said: "We will take steps to recover the money, but we are not hopeful.

Hundreds angry as Aylesford panto cancelled last minute

"It's certainly not a good thing as a business to lose this sort of money just before Christmas."

Mr Wright was asked if he wanted to comment on the allegations of non-payments, but he declined.

His partner Claire Wright, who was also the panto's creative director, responded by email saying: "I’m not explaining anything to the press. We have had death threats and it’s all completely blown out of proportion. There are two sides to every situation!"

A group of adults with learning difficulties were left looking for a replacement Christmas trip and a family who have had a tough year have been heartbroken by the news after a tough year.

The Hazlitt Theatre has said they will put on an extra show to help.

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