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All remaining Maidstone Snow White panto shows at The Friars cancelled


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A pantomime has been cancelled.

Promoter Danny Wright has issued a press release announcing the cancellation of all the remaining shows of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at The Friars in Aylesford.

Mr Wright said: "Much to our regret, we are cancelling all shows scheduled from today, Tuesday, onwards."

Scroll to hear from Jan who was meant to be taking her grandchildren to the show

Snow White Maidstone Panto
Snow White Maidstone Panto

He said: "Although we have had much support from many contractors, locals and The Friars, a select few are not willing to make this work, with the weather of November becoming a huge factor to this result.

"Long term, we’ve been up against it from the beginning, with local authorities, opposition theatres and ‘people in power’ really not supporting what we are trying to achieve, and have not made it easy."

Click here for the full panto guide for 2018

Mr Wright said: "All we were trying to do was bring something bigger to Maidstone, but unfortunately many have not seen it that way.

"The event itself shows that there is a strong need for a larger event space/theatre in the area, or access should be made more accessible by local authorities to event spaces already established.

"The show was great, and the cast, crew, front-of-house staff and our audiences were all fantastic..."

Panto promoter Danny Wright, in happier times
Panto promoter Danny Wright, in happier times

Mr Wright offered "sincere apologies" to his event partners and sponsors, and added: "We want to extend our most heartfelt apologies to all those who are holding tickets for the event. We would like to sincerely thank all of you for your support and understanding. All tickets purchased through third parties should contact them directly.

"All direct ticket holders of the show will be notified within the next few weeks. We would need your support to follow the steps provided when you receive the email.

"All enquiries regarding the event or the refund can be forwarded to boxoffice@maidstonepanto.com."

Contractors are already on site this morning removing the equipment
Contractors are already on site this morning removing the equipment

The cancellations come after persistent rumours that suppliers had not been paid, with the company that supplied the giant "tent" that hosts the show threatening to remove the construction if an alleged outstanding bill was not paid immediately.

This morning contractors have been quick to respond, arriving on site to remove their equipment.

Most of the seating has already been taken away
Most of the seating has already been taken away

Nick Baker, a freelance technician working for one of the contractors is at Aylesford removing the power cables.

He said: "Everyone's here. The toilets have already been taken away There are people removing the lighting and the generators and there are seven guys in a van from De Boer, the company that supplied the tent, waiting to make it uninhabitable, as soon as we are out."

It is thought the complete removal of the tent may take several days.

The cancellations have come as blow to the many people holding tickets for the shows. Many have posted on the panto's Facebook page to express their disappointment.

Charlotte Salter's post was typical, saying: "Your apologies don't mean much when there are children excited to see the show."

Toby Marsh, who runs Lainey's Farm in Staplehurst, a day centre for adults with learning disabilities, is particularly upset.

He said:"It was our last day before Christmas and we have 62 people already on their way to The Friars to see the show. They are going to be so disappointed, let alone the £620 we've spent on tickets."

Mr Marsh made a desperate appeal for any other entertainment venue who may be able to offer his clients and alternative day out to contact him at once on toby@laineysfarm.co.uk

The site this morning
The site this morning

The cancellation of the panto has raised questions over the future of the Winter Wonderland entertainment on the site. James Davis who ran one of the catering units at the Wonderland has already been on site to remove his Gourmet Griddle stall this morning.

He said: "The funfair is in a different ownership and I believe they are hoping to stay on, but without the audiences for the panto, it is just not going to be worth my while."

Mr Davis said he would be looking to get a refund on the £4,800 pitch fee he paid in advance to the organisers of the panto.

But he said: "It's the families I feel sorry for. You can't upset people like this."

Have you been affected by this? Email news@thekmgroup.co.uk.

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