The Little Mermaid pantomime show at Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen was cancelled following a system error that saw customers rush to buy cut-price tickets.

Theatre-goers were able to apply for a discount code to future productions of the Little Mermaid, though more than 200 people found a loophole that gave them free tickets to other shows.

Joseph Purdy Productions admitted it was an internal error, with the company pointing out that all tickets had to be cancelled as otherwise it would “destroy” the business.

On the Facebook page Aberdeen Panto, a spokesman for the production company said: “I’m very shocked to see that over 200 individual sets of people found a loophole in the code we set up for £5 tickets for The Little Mermaid and booked tickets for our other shows that gave them free tickets (Jack and the Beanstalk and The Jungle Book).

“[The tickets] are all being cancelled and should you wish to turn up still you will be turned away. While I appreciate it was our error, as a small business this would destroy us financially.

“It’s really upset me. I’ve decided to cancel Jack and the Beanstalk next Easter with immediate effect in full. The Jungle Book will go ahead for all those who paid for tickets. We will make a decision in the new year if there is any future for us beyond The Jungle Book.”

The Little Mermaid was scheduled to run until January 5.