"We had a great day out - oh yes we did!"

Children at a Suffolk village's primary school have received a special Christmas treat with a specially funded trip to see a Beccles pantomime.

Beccles Public Hall put on two private performances of Jack and the Beanstalk at a much-reduced rate so that more than 300 children from reception through to year six could experience live theatre.

The Friends of Worlingham Primary School funded £10 per child towards the costs, making the total price including the bus just £3 per child.

Holly Marchand, headteacher at Worlingham Primary School, said: "We are very aware of the rising cost of living, particularly at Christmas, and wanted this opportunity to be affordable.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Dan Smith as Dame Betty Trott (Image: Supplied)Dan Smith as Dame Betty Trott (Image: Supplied) (Image: Supplied)

"We are very happy to be building strong links with our local theatre and really appreciate their support in enabling us to do this.

"Beccles Public Hall is a very valuable local amenity and we are keen to work with them in the future.

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"The children, staff and volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the show and we would like to thank the theatre for making it such a special experience leading up to Christmas."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Helen McDermott is playing Fairy Hasbean (Image: Supplied)Helen McDermott is playing Fairy Hasbean (Image: Supplied) (Image: Supplied)

Richard Melchior, general manager at Beccles Public Hall, said he believed the theatre should be available to audience members of all ages and linking with local schools gives children the opportunity to experience live performance.

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He said: “We’re so pleased to see the community supporting the pantomime in Beccles and to hear the children laughing and joining in has been an absolute joy for the staff at the theatre.

“We hope to work closely with Worlingham Primary School going forward, and other schools in the area, to ensure we’re providing valuable experiences for the local children.

“We are currently looking towards next year’s pantomime offer in Beccles, the planning of which will include performances for schools and performances which cater for preschool children."

Jack and the Beanstalk is being by Sound Ideas Theatre Company until January 2