No sweet throwing at pantomime

Tasty sweets have been branded a menace after a Norfolk pantomime was told that it could not throw confectionary to any youngsters in the audience in case of legal repercussions.

Tasty sweets have been branded a menace after a Norfolk pantomime was told that it could not throw confectionary to any youngsters in the audience in case of legal repercussions.

The organisers of the Babes in the Woods and Robin Hood production at the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre fear they could be sued for negligence if any children are hit on the head by a stray soft-centred sweet.

Because the theatre claims it is not covered by insurance for the candy hurling antics of pantomime dame Mark Hudson, sweets will now be dropped into the front row and passed around by ushers instead - ending the tradition of children frantically trying to catch the treats.

And the pantomime director has even joked that perhaps children should attend performances wearing crash helmets and face masks to prevent any misdirected sweets from injuring them.


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Director Helen McDermott said: “I think this is just another example of the sue me and health and safety culture going mad.

“Throwing sweets into the crowd is one of the great traditional parts of pantomimes and children have enjoyed it for years and years.”

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The theatre is no stranger to restrictive health and safety issues as last month Peter Pan was banned from flying during a performance by the local youth theatre group Dusmagrik.

Kevin Lynch, theatre director said: “It is a sad fact of life these days that people are being encouraged to sue more and more and that so many things are now deemed a risk.

“It is a shame that we have to stop the practice of throwing sweets into the crowd but we have to make sure we do not open ourselves to being sued.”

Malcolm Tarling from the Association of British Insurers said it would be very rare for an insurance company to tell a pantomime that throwing sweets into the audience was not allowed because of risk of injury.

Babes in the Woods and Robin Hood starts on Monday and runs until January 5.

To book a ticket call the box office on 01493 662832.

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