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Denise Welch quits pantomime

OHMYGOSSIP — Denise Welch has dropped out of her forthcoming pantomime performance.
The 59-year-old actress was supposed to be playing Mother Nature in Newcastle’s ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’ but she’s quit the role because the cast were reportedly not receiving their wages on time, the rehearsals were “chaotic” and the set hadn’t been finished.
A source told The Sun Online: “It was a total shambles backstage – the panto wasn’t ready to open when it was due to this Monday, so the first two days of shows were cancelled.
“Sets weren’t finished, a technical rehearsal set for last Friday couldn’t go ahead because the production was running so behind.
“Another rehearsal was a total disaster, and then cast weren’t being paid on time or at all. At one point, an Equity rep had to be called in to mediate.
“A few days into panto rehearsals, Denise and other cast started getting concerned as it wasn’t very professional at all because no-one seemed to know what they were doing. “Some of the crew had never even worked backstage before.”
It was initially claimed that the actress had been forced to leave the show because of health problems but, although she refused to disclose what had actually gone on between her and the production company, she seemingly poured cold water on the ill-health claims.
In a statement Denise said: “I am so terribly upset and hugely disappointed that I will no longer be appearing in the Times Square Pantomime in Newcastle.
“Those who know me and have supported me during my 40 year career will know how passionate I am about my job, Newcastle and it’s people. All I ever wanted was to star in a fabulous, spectacular pantomime that I have been proudly publicising since February. If there was anything I could do to change this highly regrettable situation I would.
“Legally, I can say no more but I write this with a heavy heart.”
Although Denise has decided to walk out, her co-star Adam Thomas is still performing.
Production company Nice Swan said: “I can confirm that we will be proceeding with the pantomime without Denise. There are no issues with set or production standards.
“Equity visited the Pantodrome earlier in the week at Denise’s request, to asses the safety of the building and the facilities provided and no issues were outlined from this. Performances will continue from today until the 30th December.”

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