A THEATRE company has called on City of York Council for "recompense" in an ongoing row over the axed Jesus Christ Superstar musical.

Lesley Jones, of the Bev Jones Music Company, abandoned plans for the show in Rowntree Park's amphitheatre amid questioning on gaps in her Covid-19 plan.

A series of questions arrived via email less than a fortnight before the first performance on June 8 - from how Lesley would deal with a terrorism attack or floods to the suggestion that the cast may need to wear masks while singing.

But in a later email seen by The Press, the Council's Director of Public Health Sharon Stoltz said "the feedback in the email was only intended" to be shared with Safety Advisory Group (SAG) members for their consideration - including North Yorkshire Police.

The email also reads: "The email was never intended to be shared with you and it did not constitute public health advice to you personally as the organiser; it was feedback to SAG and members would have considered the appropriateness of this feedback in due course.

"However it was shared and unfortunately taken out of context. I understand how angry and frustrated you must have felt in receiving it and can only apologise for the distress this has caused you."

The owner has since asked the Council to cover the costs of rehearsals, actors and musicians recompense and lost ticket sales - but the Council has since insisted that it had "considered the event permissible".

Matt Boxall, Heading of Public Protection, said: "Our communications have stated that we considered the event permissible, but there were several points to consider. We did not cancel the event, or require the performers wear face coverings.

"Through the Safety Advisory Group, the Council and our partners in the emergency services provide advice and guidance to help ensure dozens of events take place safely each year. But given the confusion that has clearly arisen in this case, we are exploring ways to ensure that advice given in future can be made even clearer.”

"It's heartbreaking and it's wrong," Lesley told the Press.

"I will never, ever put an application in to Rowntree Park as the humiliation, embarrassment, disappointment for my cast and band and the money, the financial loss, I would not put us through all that ever again.

"I do want recompense.

"I just wanted to perform. We missed one of the best weekends weather wise of the year. That would have been stunning for us. I had people in tears ringing me. I took myself off social media.

"The deed is done."

Earlier this month Lesley said the event had been booked since February and planned in line with the council’s event management plans, with a Covid risk assessment and a health & safety assessment drawn up.

Measures agreed included the cast being tested daily, thermometer testing for cast, crew and public on the day, the event being ticket only and the audiences being located in socially distanced bubbles.

The musical was due to go ahead for £12 a ticket on June 8 and 9, 2021, but it has since been cancelled.