Come on lets make this a PURR-fect result for WisKids and help them sell out Tower Ballroom, Wisbech, for hit musical CATS

A youth theatre group from Wisbech could face a crowd of empty seats because of strict licensing res

A youth theatre group from Wisbech could face a crowd of empty seats because of strict licensing restrictions which prevent it from advertising its upcoming production in newspapers or online. PHOTO: Ian Larkin. - Credit: Archant

A youth theatre group is hoping last minute relaxation of advertising rules will help them sell out Wisbech Tower Ballroom next week for their production of CATS.

WisKids, the youth theatre wing of Wisbech Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, had agreed to tough licensing conditions that prevented the show being promoted anywhere other than their own social media and web sites.

Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group granted them the licence at a time when a professional tour of CATS was possible and so advertising by amateur groups was restricted.

But following our story earlier this week, the Really Useful Group has softened its stance after telling the Wisbech group the professional tour has now gone abroad.

Delighted with an email from the Really Useful Group telling them of a “more relaxed approached”, WisKids is hoping for a record breaking run.

Director Michele Larkin said: “Obviously, we have been finding it difficult to sell tickets with the restrictions placed upon us.

“However we could not risk them cancelling the production, which they could do if we advertised, as the children have worked so hard and are really looking forward to it.

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“As we are not doing it in a theatre, there is absolutely no footfall as to where it’s being performed.

“We know we’ve really got to sell 500 seats for this show.

“You do it because you want to put something on and hope people will support it.

“It’s very, very challenging indeed.”

Michele’s husband, Ian, said: “Because it’s such a big musical, they were not allowed to advertise it in the newspaper or elsewhere.

“People have messaged us asking for more information about the show, but we’ve not able to tell them… even though it’s for education purposes.”

Additionally, the only way in which the group has been able to drive ticket sales is through its own website and the Tower Ballroom website.

In terms of promotion, the group was restricted to only producing and distributing posters and flyers within a two-mile radius of the performance venue. It was also prohibited from sending out letters or emails to anyone other than youth group members and their families or guardians.

If any of the rules are broken, then WisKids was faced with possible cancellation.

To help boost the society’s funds, the Fenland Ladies Darts team visited WisKids during one of their rehearsal days to donate £170 which was raised at a recent event.

‘CATS’ runs from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 March for a range of 2.30pm and 7.30pm performances.

Tickets; £12 (general) or £10 (concessions), are available from Etcetera by calling 01945 463440 or 07857 887059.