SCHOOL children in Huddersfield got an early Christmas present - dodging lessons to enjoy the fun of the panto!
Some 284 children from both Rawthorpe High School and Rawthorpe Junior School were given tickets to go see Merlin and the Enchanted Mirror Christmas Show at the Lawrence Batley Theatre - courtesy of a Huddersfield company.
Ramsden and Colne developments paid for the festive treat for the delighted youngsters.
The new company, which was recently formed to undertake the Waterfront Quarter urban regeneration scheme off Chapel Hill, paid for all the children as part of its community support work.
The new development was formed specifically by Sellers International to develop and improve The Waterfront Quarter.
David Armitage, chairman of both Sellers International and Ramsden and Colne Developments, said: "This support for the three schools was part of the on-going commitment to the community that Sellers have been involved in for many years and which the new company would continue as the Waterfront Quarter gradually takes shape."
It seems the good will certainly paid off for the development, as all the kids came out of the theatre raving about the performance.
Chelsea Clapham, 13, of Rawthorpe High School, said: "The play was so much fun to watch and easy to follow.
"My favourite part was the singing and dancing at the end as it gave the audience the chance to join in."
Alex Taylor, 12, also of Rawthorpe High School, added: "The play was such good fun. I think it is great that we were given the chance to go see it - and we didn't have to pay a penny!"
Eight-year-old Reese Hayden- Malpass, of Rawthorpe Junior School, said: "I thought it was really good and very funny. I laughed a lot."
The enchanting Christmas production is entirely original - and made in Huddersfield.
It's been co-written by Huddersfield actor Ryan Simons, who is making his debut as a director.
Merlin and young Arthur go on a fantasy world of vegetarian dragons, the obligatory wicked witch and a young princess who isn't particularly downtrodden.