Theatre bosses branded 'scrooges' after banning children under the age of three from Christmas pantomime for being 'too noisy'The Hawthorne Theatre has banned under threes from its pantomineBosses at the Welwyn Garden City venue say the ban is 'house policy'
Mother-of-five Mel Hackworth told she can sit in the foyer with her son
20:33 GMT, 19 December 2012
Excluded: Under-threes have been banned from Jack and the Beanstalk at The Hawthorn Theatre, Hertfordshire
'Scrooge'-like theatre bosses have banned toddlers from attending a pantomine – because they are too noisy.
Parents slammed killjoys at The Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, after it banned children under the age of three from its Jack and the Beanstalk show.
According to managers at the council-run theatre, it is not 'house policy' to allow children under 36 months in although exceptions are made for certain family films.
But the theatre will not be making an exception for the panto, which is designed to encourage audience participation, in case noisy youngsters ruin the performance for other children.
Mother-of-five Mel Hackworth, 34, said that she was refused entry for her six-month-old son Finley when she called the theatre to buy tickets.
The box office told her that she would be allow to take her other four children, who are all old enough to attend, but would have to sit outside in the foyer with Finley while the show was on.
She said: 'I asked if it was free for Finley to come in, (and) was told it's no children under three in case they make a noise.
'It's ridiculous, it's a children's pantomine, how can they not let under threes in
'That's a lot of families that won't be able to go this year. What's the point of running a panto for children and not letting children in'
This year's pantomine, Jack and the Beanstalk, stars Holby City actress Phoebe Thomas as Princess Jill, Grange Hill's Alex Sheldon as Jack and Keith Myers as the dame and runs until New Years Day.
Star: Under threes won't be able to see actress Phoebe Thomas, pictured left in Holby City, in this year's pantomine
A spokesman for Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council which runs the theatre, said today: 'Our current policy, stated in our terms and conditions on the website, under 'babes-in-arms', is that children under 36 months are not allowed into performances in the Hawthorne Theatre unless otherwise stated for certain film showings.
'It was suggested to the lady that she could stay in the foyer with her four-month-old baby while the rest of her party was inside the theatre, but that was before it became clear that she would be the only adult attending.
'This wouldn't have been put forward had it been known initially that the other children were also young and would be on their own.'