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David Walliams’ stage production accused of papering venues

David Walliams’ stage production of his children’s book Grandpa’s Great Escape has been accused of using a papering service to fill hundreds of empty seats in arenas.

Swathes of empty seats were reported during the Christmas extravaganza in Nottingham last month where tickets cost up to £50 per seat.

Since then, showings of the production in Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool have been cancelled.

The papering firm Show Film First offers members who sign up free tickets to a number of shows and gigs and states that its service means “producers benefit from a full auditorium and valuable feedback.”

Members are given tickets on the condition they do not tell other patrons where they got them from and how little they paid – often just a nominal booking fee.

In addition, members using social networks are encouraged to talk about what they have seen, “but NOT about SFF or how you got your tickets.”

A spokesperson for the show’s producers said the issuing of complimentary tickets was ‘standard practice’, adding, according to the Daily Mail: “In this instance, tickets were offered to a number of organisations on a local basis, including Tickets For Troops and other charities, the NHS and the police.”

Image: Ana maria wiggins