Labour-run Nottingham Council has banned the use of Shetland ponies in a new production of Cinderella. As Nottingham Council own the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, where the performance is being held, they have the power to impose the ban. Instead the Fairy Godmother will enter in a carriage pulled by two cast members wearing horses heads. Not quite the same, it it?
The Council bans live animals performing in all Council-run premises citing animal welfare and health and safety. But the ponies were on stage at the privately owned Nottingham Playhouse Theatre two years ago without evidence of either being breached.
Nick Thomas, the chairman of Qdos, Europe’s largest pantomime producer, which runs the show, said:
"The theatre is run by Nottingham City Council and they don’t like live animals in the theatre. We have ponies all over the place in other parts of the country. I personally don’t like to see Cinderella without ponies but it is just something we have to deal with."