A POPULAR charity show has been suddenly cancelled despite the sale of more than 900 tickets.

The Greatest Showman concert, which was meant to be going ahead on Saturday at the Victoria Halls, was called off yesterday by organisers.

The Mayor of Bolton was to be the VIP guest of honour at the event, which would have showcased music from the hit Hugh Jackman film and other Disney properties, with more than 200 singers and musicians led by musical director Chris Wormald.

It was arranged by Bolton Lever Rotary Club to raise funds for the Royal Institute for the Blind’s Talking Book Service.

Organisers have been tight-lipped on the reasons for the sudden cancellation but Rotary Club president Bernard Murphy said his team were “devastated” with the announcement as they had all put “months of planning into it”. They said all ticket sales will be refunded. 

He added: “We’re looking at rescheduling it in the not too distant future.”

Conductor Mr Wormald who was set to direct the music at the show explained that the cancellation came down to an “administrative issue”.

He said: “Naturally everyone who was to have been taking part in this charity concert for Talking Books For The Blind is disappointed.

“There was an administrative issue which everyone believed in good faith was in place but it became clear that this was not the case and in order not to cause any subsequent issues, it was felt by all parties that cancelling the concert was the right thing to do on this occasion.”

The gala concert at the Victoria Hall was £5 a ticket and was expected to feature classic songs from animated favourites such as The Jungle Book, Toy Story and The Beauty and The Beast performed by the Eagley Band and Smithills Community Choir.

In a joint statement, the groups behind the concert said the cancellation came down to “circumstances beyond the control of organisers”.

They added: “It will not now be taking place this Saturday.

“Naturally the organisers and all of the performers are devastated that this decision has had to be taken.

“Full refunds will be issued to all of the very many kind patrons who bought tickets for this concert in aid of Talking Books For The Blind.

“The postponement does not, in any way, affect the annual Christmas Concert on behalf of Bolton Hospice which will take place as planned on Saturday, December 21, at 7.30pm.”

The concert is expected to be rescheduled but a new date for the event has not been announced.

This will not affect other shows at the venue.