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Curtains for the Alternative Pantomime?
A popular pantomime dubbed a “Brighton institution” could be entering its final year.
The Alternative Pantomime has seen dames tread the boards at Brighton's Pavilion Theatre for more than a decade, treating patrons to a dollop of naughty humour.
During that time it has raised about £200,000 for charity.
But, on the eve of this year’s show, organisers say future performances are under threat as its regular two- week February slot cannot be guaranteed.
Find a balance Bosses at Brighton Dome claim they have to find a balance between its own programme and hire events at the rebranded Brighton Dome Studio Theatre.
Alternative dates have been offered but negotiations are still taking place.
Brian Ralfe, who founded the show, said: “It’s scandalous. “They claim it is not conducive to the way they want Brighton Dome Studio to be.
“I think they have a commitment to local talent. But how much more local can you get when we’re local people raising money for local charity?”
In response, Andrew Comben, the chief executive of Brighton Dome |and Festival, said: “As a registered charity ourselves we have to find a careful balance between the programme of hire events and the artistic programme for which we receive funding.
“Our venue is in high demand and as we expand our own artistic programme we increasingly face difficulties in fitting runs of more than one week into our venue diary.
“We are still very keen to find a solution for the Alternative Pantomime and have offered the group other slots in our calendar which we hope they will consider.”
Mr Ralfe said he had been offered a week in February for the 2014 show but needed longer to ensure it raised enough money.
A potential summer slot is also being considered.
Former council leader Mary Mears, who regularly watches the show, said it was a “Brighton institution”.
She added: “I am surprised. I hope both parties can negotiate something that makes it work.”
Jack and His Big Stalk is running from February 20 to March 3.
For tickets call 01273 709709.
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