Such a stage farce may also help increase attendances at Hull Truck Theatre. Even though it recently moved into a new, publicly-funded 15m venue, it, like other provincial theatres, is having to come to terms with a subsidy cut. After its Arts Council funding was reduced by 40,000, Hull councillors have reduced their contribution by 100,000.
Some perspective is required. This is a city with above-average deprivation levels and a council that is not receiving, for various reasons, an adequate financial return on the KC Stadium that it built. Nevertheless, Hull's flagship theatre is still receiving subsidies worth 800,000 a year.
Given this support, the real pantomime villains may not be the funding bodies – but the theatre's management for being unable to make the most of the opportunities provided by a brand-new city centre venue.