Is Harpenden pantomime banner really tasteless? Oh not it’s not!

The Aladdin banner on Harpenden Public Halls before the complaint

The Aladdin banner on Harpenden Public Halls before the complaint - Credit: Archant

A pantomime banner dubbed “tasteless” by a resident in Harpenden has been ordered to be removed – oh yes it has.

A 20x5ft banner for the upcoming pantomime Aladdin, starring EastEnders favourite Peter Dean (Peter Beale) and Rochelle Knowles Gadd from Tracy Beaker had been hung on Harpenden Public Halls.

But St Albans district council ordered the removal of the banner after it received a complaint from a resident who allegedly said the banner “brought the town into disrepute”.

Public Halls general manager, Glenn Povey, promptly removed the banner only to receive a phone call from Harpenden town council to say it had received a complaint that the banner had been removed.

He said: “It’s turned into a bit of a pantomime in itself. I think it’s a bit of a shame that St Albans [council] have had this knee-jerk reaction to a single complaint.”

The venue hosts a pantomime each year, and although this year’s banner had been put up slightly earlier than in previous years, Glenn said that he was following other venues’ lead by putting it up early.

Chris Law, who is producing the pantomime, fears that the removal of the banner may have an impact on the success of his production.

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He said: “Some individual has obviously got a bee in his or her bonnet and has put a complaint in.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that this has happened. It was only one complaint. I think it has the potential to and impact on ticket sales.”

Richard Shwe, head of community services at the district council, confirmed that a complaint had been lodged with the council: “For the first time, it was decided to put up a promotional banner on the Public Halls over the school holidays and take it down as the holidays ended. That has been done.

“There was one complaint made to the council about the early appearance of the banner. As has happened in previous years, the banner will be put up from late October in the run-up to the pantomime’s first performance on 11 December.

“We are sorry we have caused some concern that we had been promoting the show too early. We will be going back to our traditional way of marketing the pantomime from next year.”