AN INDEPENDENT theatre is urging people to buy tickets for its Halloween and Christmas pantomimes as it struggles in the face of Covid.

The Majestic Theatre in Darlington is urging people to support it by purchasing tickets to its in-house pantomimes Treasure Island, at Halloween, and Dick Whittington, around Christmas.

The shows would normally draw in crowds and a big budget but, due to coronavirus restrictions, people are opting to stay home.

Events and entertainment director Hayley Thompson said: "Due to us being new and not here for more than five years, we are struggling with funding.

"Still, it's fantastic we can continue with our pantomimes. Fingers are crossed that tickets will still sell as it is our main income for the year, as it is for any theatre.

"Many theatres are struggling due to Covid-19 and it's sad that some have had to close. As we are independent, we can still push, even if it means more hard work. We are determined to continue.

"All efforts have been put into in-house productions to bring in a budget, continue with what we love and keep staff and customers happy."

Treasure Island will take place on October 30 to November 1. Dick Whittington runs on December 14 to 31, and more shows may be added depending on ticket sales.

Shows will be socially distanced, with a one-way system in place and hand sanitizer stations throughout.

While there will still be an interval, drinks must be pre ordered before the show and staff will bring them to the allocated seat.

Ms Thompson said: "Christmas is a special time for everyone. We want to bring some normality to our customers. Pantomime is a huge deal for many people, some do this every year, as do we."

People are reassured the theatre is Covid-secure and Government guidance is being followed.

"We promise to bring that Christmas feeling and, for a moment, help you forget what's going on in the world and enjoy yourself."

Anyone who would like to book tickets should visit