Full refunds are being handed out to people who attended a pantomime that was labelled “spectacularly bad,” and attendees have received an apology from the venue.

The Neeld Community and Arts Centre in Chippenham, Wiltshire, put on the disgraced performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. It was advertised as presenting a “sparkling set and glittering costumes,” though several theatre-goers complained there were not enough actors, or that the ones involved seemed untrained.

Natalie Uff, said on Facebook page that the panto was “awful”. She said: “At one point they were talking to voices in the wings as they ran out of people,” she said.

Another said: “It was spectacularly bad. It felt as if two of the cast members had been pulled in at the last minute and it was their first live show. The venue is great and we will continue to support it.”

While a different viewer said: “I was mortified to see the standard of the performance which was presented to us.”

The Neeld Community and Arts Centre in Chippenham posted a statement on its Facebook page to say the show “was not the standard of show the Neeld is used to presenting”.

The December show at the 158-seater venue was completely sold out, with a standard ticket priced at £7. The company behind the show, OOOH ARRR Productions, has been approached for comment by the Guardian newspaper. 

The Neeld said: “We had been assured by the theatre production company there would be a cast of six professional actors with industry-standard staging … The images provided by the company for promotional purposes, which we posted on our social media, did not reflect the show they brought to us.

“We were so disappointed with this production and have decided, with support from the theatre production company, to refund all customers who attended Jack and the Beanstalk.

“Everyone who purchased tickets for the performances will be contacted by the Neeld Community and Arts Centre in the next few days to arrange refunds.”

The statement added: “We would like to sincerely apologise again to anyone who was disappointed by the performance.”

Image: Beatrice Murch