Kent panto cancels entire run blaming bad weather in November
A pantomime in Maidstone has cancelled all its remaining dates, with organisers claiming they have been “up against it from the beginning”.
Maidstone Panto’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was due to run at the Friars in Aylesford until December 31. It featured a cast of more than 30.
Organisers said the weather in November and “a select few [who are] not willing to make it work” contributed to the collapse of the show.
A statement on Maidstone Panto’s website 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.”
The statement says that there is a need for a larger event space or theatre in the area.
It adds: “To all of our event partners and sponsors, we sincerely apologise for the unexpected occurrence of the event.
“The team is currently working on all issues and, rest assured, an update in details will be provided within 14 working days.”
The organisers added that they had contacted customers about refunds.
A statement on the Friars website said: “We are sorry to announce that the organisers of the pantomime have cancelled all shows scheduled from Tuesday December 18.
“We at the Friars are equally disappointed that the show has been cancelled but this is beyond our control. The Friars rented the grounds for the event to take place and has no involvement in the organisation of the pantomime.”
A nearby Winter Wonderland attraction and ice rink will remain open.
A spokeswoman for Maidstone Council said: Cllr Paul Harper, Chair of the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee at Maidstone Borough Council, said: “We welcome all arts to Maidstone and are proud to say we showcase local performers as well offering a diverse programme of professional artists at many of the venues in the borough, including the town’s own local theatre.
“There are a number locations that are able to offer space to independent commercial ventures of this kind; however, putting on a show of this scale carries its own set of financial risks that need to be factored in when committing to a production like this.
“We are sorry to learn of the closure of the production of Snow White at the Friars in Aylesford and hope that the audiences who have paid to see this show can be fairly compensated.”