Video: ‘Disney changed my panto!’ Berwick reveals all as hundreds queue for first tickets

Flashback to the first ticket sales in March 2018 – Suzy Cooper, David Leonard and Berwick Kaler with Sharon Smith, the first person in the queue to buy tickets. Photograph: YorkMix
1 Mar 2017 @ 5.26 pm
| Entertainment

On the first day of spring, hundreds of people in York were thinking only about one thing – Christmas.

Jack And The Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal

Thurs, Dec 14 2017 to Sat, Feb 3 2018

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The tickets for the York Theatre Royal panto went on sale on Wednesday (March 1). And die-hard fans had queued overnight to snap up their favourite seats.

Right at the head of the queue was Sharon Smith from Middleton-on-the-Wolds. She had been there since 2.30pm the previous day.

All those who queued overnight were given shelter from the cold in the De Grey Rooms next door to the theatre.

‘There’s only one panto!’

First in the queue: Sharon Smith

Sharon was buying 46 tickets at a cost of £1,000. They were for four generations of her family, aged between three and 74, to sit together in the first two rows for a matinee performance in January.

“I have been coming to the panto for 12 years – but some of my party have been coming for 25 years,” she told YorkMix.

“I love every panto that Berwick does. There’s only one pantomime and it’s at the York Theatre Royal!”

Star names

David Leonard had even brought his own chair for sitting in the queue, he told Berwick

Three of the stars were on hand to greet the early buyers.

Writer, co-director and dame Berwick Kaler found a familiar face in the ticket queue – perennial baddie David ‘Boo Hiss’ Leonard.

They were joined by Suzy Cooper – and in spirit by sidekick Martin Barrass in the form of a cardboard cut out of him dressed as a carrot.

Martin had to miss the show last year after being badly hurt in a road accident.

All change

The fun’s already begun

This year’s show is Jack And The Beanstalk, but Berwick revealed it could have been very different.

He said: “To be honest, we were going to do Beauty And The Beast this year. For a long, long time.

“But then Disney decided to bring out a live film of it and every theatre in the country will be doing it.

“So we’re going to do a really good family trad show – but with invention!”