DAME Berwick Kaler's decision to call time on his pantomime career has sparked a run on the York Theatre Royal box office.

Last Friday's front-page news prompted more than 5,000 tickets to be snapped up in the rush to be sure to see Kaler in The Grand Old Dame Of York, his last pantomime after 40 years of damehood in York.

Tickets are still available for the show, written and co-directed by the 72-year-old dowager dame, but demand is heavy throughout the farewell run from December 13 to February 2 next year. Seats for Christmas week are the most limited in supply, but availability is better for the beginning of the run especially for December 17 to 21.

"In particular, for anyone with children who break up early for Christmas, or people who can attend daytime performances, there are some good seats still available for the 2.30pm show on December 20", says press officer Steve Pratt.

Here, York dancer and musical actor Joseph Poulton, a new member of the pantomime ensemble this year, is pictured with a poster for The Grand Old Dame Of York, delighted at the box office being so busy.

Tickets can be booked in person at the theatre, on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk