Theatre Royal Wakefield comes to the rescue for Kirkhamgate school kids

Photography by Mustard Seed Media.
Photography by Mustard Seed Media.

Schoolchildren were sent into a ‘frenzy’ when they found out the pantomime they had been looking forward to for months had been cancelled.

But, last Tuesday, helpful staff at the Theatre Royal Wakefield acted fast to rescue their afternoon.

Pupils at Kirkhamgate J&I School, part of Outwood Primary Academy, were all set to leave for the City Varieties Music Hall, in Leeds, when they found out their Jack in the Beanstalk show had been cancelled.

Teachers knew it was a long shot asking for a spare 150 seats elsewhere, and their first few calls to other theatres were in vain.

But when they called the Theatre Royal, staff pulled out all the stops to make sure the youngsters could be accommodated.

And the icing on the cake was that it was still Jack in the Beanstalk they were going to see.

Headteacher Asa Britton said: “We were ready to leave at 1.15pm and five minutes later they called to say it was cancelled. The show had been booked for ages.

“It was one of those moments where you think you’re going to be sick.

“The children were whipped up into a frenzy. But we rang the Theatre Royal and they said ‘we’ve got some spares’.

“I can’t thank the theatre enough for what they did. It was a lot to ask with 20 minutes notice, but they managed to pull some extra seats together and the show was back on. They were incredible.

“The children would have been devastated. I think a good half of them have never been to a pantomime. In the end they really enjoyed the show.”

A spokeswoman for Theatre Royal Wakefield said: “We were really pleased to be able to help out when Outwood Primary’s scheduled pantomime performance at The City Varieties Leeds was cancelled.

“Nobody wants to disappoint children, especially at Christmas, and it was fortunate that Tuesday afternoon was the one performance this week when we had enough seats to accommodate them.

“With sales running at an all-time high, this year is set to break box office records.”

A cast took to the stage for their first performance on last Monday. Evening and matinee shows continue to run until Sunday, January 5.

For tickets and times visit www. or call the box office on 01924 211311.

City Varieties apologised to the pupils about the cancellation and has invited them to go along and enjoy another show to make up for the disappointment.