PANTOMIME fans braved the snow and queued overnight at York Theatre Royal to secure their favourite seats for this year’s production.

Tickets for theatre legend Berwick Kaler’s 40th show, The Grand Old Dame of York, went on sale at 9am today.

And first in line was dedicated fan Sharon Smith, who whose mum Rose dropped her off early at the front of the queue at 1pm because Sharon did not want her out driving late through the snow.

Sharon, from Middleton on the Wolds, was also the first person to buy tickets for last year’s production and brought 49 seats so her family could all enjoy the show together. 

She said: “I have four generations of my family coming along, so it’s all on my neck if I don’t get here.

“We love the cast. The theatre’s been marvellous at looking after us, I was only out in the snow for a short while.

“We had an Indian takeaway last night and we all had a lot to catch up on - we are just like a family.”

Sharon said she only beat other pantomime fans to the front of the queue by about 45 minutes and the group of dedicated theatregoers spent the night in the neighbouring De Grey Rooms.

Pantomime dame Berwick Kaler was there to greet people, when the queue had grown to more than 120 people.

Berwick said: “It’s best at this moment in time not to say anything about the storyline. I’m still looking around for one.

“There are no hidden meanings behind this pantomime.

“There’s a lot of talk about retiring but I think the majority of the audience, who I have grown up with, think I will let them know when things change.

“It was an amazingly successful show last year, people were laughing themselves silly. I don’t think you can put a price on that.

“Nobody thought they were making history when we first started doing this but it’s an unmissable event for thousands of people.”

Second in line for tickets was another regular, Rita Wells from Boroughbridge, while Peter Fish was in third place to buy seats for a group from Thirsk White Horse Swim Team.

He said: “For years the same half dozen people have been first in the queue and there’s a camaraderie among us.

“The panto is the same every year but it’s a family thing really.

“Berwick Kaler is a man in a million. I don’t know why he hasn’t been knighted.”

The Grand Old Dame of York runs at York Theatre Royal from December 13 to February 2 2019.

Online bookings opened at 3pm on today and phone bookings were available from 9am tomorrow.