Panto star and comedian  Owen Money MBE  (right) with the then Mayor of Penarth Cllr Ken Lloyd (centre) and mayoral consort Georgina Bennet . Owen Money didn’t charge the council anything for carrying out the ceremonial Christmas Lights Switch On last year and starred in Jack and the Beanstalk in January at the Paget Rooms

Penarth Town Council’s demand for double its previous percentage cut of box office takings for forthcoming Rainbow Valley pantomimes in the Paget Rooms has resulted in the firm withdrawing from negotiations.

The famous comedian Owen Money MBE who had starred in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at the Paget Rooms in January this year said he had decided to “pull the venue”  for next year.

A poster for last January’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk. The production company won’t be returning to Penarth next year

The Labour-controlled Town Council says it had asked for a “box office split” of 40%/60% for a potential week of pantomime shows next January – with 40% going to the council this time.

The Council said this increased slice of  the takings would  “ would reflect the resources and commitment of council staff in promoting the event and to ensure the council and people of Penarth benefit from the commercial use of a town asset.”

However now it looks as though there will be no pantomime at all in the Paget Rooms next January – and the theatre  will be empty and unused – bringing what was to have been a three-year deal to an abrupt and premature end.

The council claims that “Rainbow Valley Productions chose to withdraw rather than enter into discussions regarding contractual arrangements.” – but for Penarth’s Labour councillors it’s an uncomfortable lesson in the basics of market economics. 

On their part, a Rainbow Valley director Jamie Edwards is reported as saying the firm is  “bitterly disappointed” with Penarth Town Council and that the council just doesn’t understand the costs involved in staging the production .

The Paget Rooms venue is run by Penarth Town Council

In January this year the production company had successfully staged “Jack and the Beanstalk” starring comedian Owen Money  at the Paget Rooms  – although it’s said the show did not produce the level of income that had been projected .

The company had previously split their box office takings with the council on an 80%/ 20% basis  but Mr Edwards said the council held out for a 40%  cut of the box office takings for next January – and that was just too much.

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  1. Brilliant piece of business acumen. Surely 20% of something is better than 40% of nothing.
    Reset the abacus Penarth Town Council !!!!

    • Bobby says:

      Surely 20% still needs to cover the Council’s overheads. Perhaps it could publish them for this event or at best offer some explanation as to why 40% was expected.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      I see Picnic Penarth aka “P**s up Penarth is coming back plying alcohol on the Streets setting an appalling example to children.
      These wannabe impressario Councillors aren’t man enough to stand up to lager louts and Late Night Drinking License Applications but are quite happy to shamelessly bully a kids Panto out of business.
      Hardly Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber doing the negotiations is it !.
      Assume £12 average ticket and 70 per cent house over 5 nights. less £330 for a Dress Rehearsal Day
      140 x 12 x 5 x 70%
      = 5880-330
      5550 x40% Venue Rake Off =2220
      Gross profit for Production = 3330 out of which comes Artistes Fees Van Hire Scenery Costumes
      There will be little or nothing left.. I feel really sorry for the Producers and the kids.

  2. Lesley Monger says:

    What is wrong with these so called people in charge
    I’ll send them an abacus!!!
    Sorry and with a guide on how to use!!!

  3. Big Davey says:

    This is what happens when you double to staff at PTC, they then believe they have to get more involved and take more from the public.

  4. graham vodden says:

    ” Doughnuts”

  5. RetailGuru says:

    “Oh no they didn’t” I hear you scream at the screen…. “Oh yes they did” I reply. Can you believe the incompetence of these people? So they wanted a huge 40% cut of the income from the production. How on earth did they expect the production company to actually make any measure of profit (or even break even) from the pantomime? Honestly, PTC is a pantomime that we’re paying a high price to watch mess it up, time and time again.

    • Lambrettagirl says:

      How soon can we vote them out. Or can we ( the people of Penarth) demand that they all step down – without any golden handshakes

      • RetailGuru says:

        Lambrettagirl, the trouble is that it’s the staff as well as the councillors. I say we bring back the Penarth Independents Party and a) run for election and b) sack the staff

  6. Christopher David - not an anon says:

    Given PTC have demonstrated complete incompetence regarding business matters in the past- witness the Kymin debacle and PACL – just for starters, my guess (they probably wont give us the detail) is PTC have messed up yet again. What is the point of PTC?

  7. Le Compte says:

    Numpties…. oh yes they are…

  8. Sue@56 says:

    A disgrace. Shame on you councillors. There will be many disappointed children this year as it was a sellout in 2017 . This year we will have a empty theatre with no income. Brilliant. Let’s hope this can be renegotiated.

  9. whatsoccurin says:

    Another brilliant decision by PTC-I would gladly pay double council tax for this level of expertise. I post on Owen’s website and always emphasise that you need to publicise events in Penarth because the Council like to keep them a secret, so few people know about them.

  10. Chris Franks says:

    The Paget Rooms need a good refurbishment. The Foyer looks very tired. The Council should upgrade the Theater before charging more. This year’s show was brilliant. It would be a great shame not to have Owen Money back.

    • Lambrettagirl says:

      PTC should pay Owen Money for even considering Penarth. They really don’t know how lucky they were to have such a professional team wanting to perform here
      They are total ‘greedy’ idiots. As some one else has said 20% of something is better than 40% of nothing. They should count themselves lucky to have even had 10% let alone 20%
      Let’s just scrap PTC they seem an incompetent inch altogether

    • Jayflan says:

      You should see the state of the dressing rooms. Amazed health and safety haven’t closed it down.

  11. Dis gruntled says:

    Once more our greedy councillors mess up again, have they got a secret plan to turn the pages rooms into more housing ???

  12. Jayflan says:

    Penarth already has a local am dram panto every year, held in December. It’s ‘Pinocchio’ this year. We should be supporting our local organisations, who are also being priced out of The Paget Rooms.

  13. Jp says:

    This horrific failure of a council! Please, ho mto ch longer are we st uk with the , they ignore the town, spoil all the usual events, compete with the traders and now can’t even run a pantomime!!! What do they think they do to support and publicise the event – th clowns don’t even have a notice board!!!

    I hear that fed up locals will put up a whole slate of candidates next time – fingers crossed we throw them all out (all parties) and then open the books 😡

  14. Peter Church says:

    This sum up “Labouromics”
    Why settle for 20% of £10,000 when you can have 40% of £0

    anyone for the 98% tax rate again?

  15. Racist Mark (aka Mark Foster) says:

    Isn’t it amazing what a campaignng media can do. Now perhaps you can understand how they’ve brought the UK to its knees.

  16. Big Davey says:

    I see it is going to Dinas Powys now..

  17. Christopher David - not an anon says:

    Yup and good on them. ;Perhaps DP council could take over from PTC and we can lose the losers

Comments are closed.