Cannon and Ball break panto record

Dave Mark WHEN it comes to pantomime, the streets of Hull are paved with gold! Hull New Theatre's Christmas pantomime has smashed every record in the venue's history. Dick Whittington, starring jungle celebrities Cannon & Ball, has taken more cash at the Box Office for the Hull New Theatre than any previous production.

Hull New Theatre manager Michael Lister said: "It's amazing to have taken this many sales before the opening night. We normally look at breaking records on the last few days of the run, but to do that this early with another five weeks to sell tickets is quite unprecedented."

The last pantomime to rival this year's ticket sales was, ironically, Dick Whittington starring Cannon and Ball in 1991. That year the Box Office record was broken but the production ran for six-and-a-half weeks – two weeks longer than this year's production with 25 more shows.

And in a reference to his reliance on his wife's kitchen skills, revealed on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, Bobby Ball said: "It's great ticket sales are going so well, maybe I'll be able to splash out and take Vonne out for a meal instead of her cooking for me!

"It's great to be back in Hull after we did so well here last time. It's a great city and the people are so warm and friendly.

"A lot of the staff at the theatre were here 13 years ago which is fantastic, friendly staff are what makes a theatre and Hull certainly has one of the best theatres in the country."

Tommy Cannon added: "It's certainly tight to have to learn all the script in only five days but we can't wait for the show to open, and with all these people coming to see it we're rehearsing harder than ever."

By the time the curtain lifts on the first performance tonight at 7pm it is expected over 400,000 worth of bookings will have been made with over 65 per cent of the tickets already sold. On its best day the Box Office took over 15,000 worth of bookings in just one day.

Mr Lister said: "To achieve these figures with 25 less shows than the last time Cannon and Ball were here is fantastic. Tommy and Bobby are certainly a draw, and their appearance in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! has benefited us a great deal.

"There are very few tickets left for the first week but there are still tickets available beyond that. Tickets are still selling very quickly so anyone interested should book now or they may be disappointed.

"It's great that we're receiving such big bookings and I can guarantee that the audiences won't be disappointed, just watching the rehearsals has confirmed that this will be the biggest and most spectacular pantomime Hull has ever seen so it's great that we're getting bookings from all around the region."

Dick Whittington at the Hull New Theatre runs until January 14. Tickets range from 11.50 to 17.50.

For full information, or to buy tickets, contact the Hull City Council Booking Office under the Hull City Hall, Carr Lane, Hull. Alternatively, call

the booking and information line on 01482 226655.

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