PANTO bosses at Clacton's Princes Theatre say this year's Sleepy Beauty is set to break box office records.

More than 6,400 fans have already packed out the venue to see X Factor star Stevi Ritchie and the West End cast in action.

Seven special school performances have been held and more than 700 Girl Guides bagged seats for one show.

Theatre bosses say ticket sales for this year's production are even better than for 2015's Aladdin.

They are hoping it will be a record-breaking panto season.

Theatre manager Wendy Bilsby said: “We have been delighted and it just shows the demand for pantos is very much alive and kicking.

“Schools have run coaches to the theatre and packed out the seats and Essex Girl Guides have booked for next year - and are even looking at taking a second day in 2017.

“From the reviews we have seen audiences have been very impressed with the standard this year and Stevi - being a local lad - has really gone down well, accompanied by a very strong cast to back him up.

“We are already up on the number of people through the doors at this time in 2015 and if the sale of tickets continues to hold up we are certainly looking at a potential record audience for a panto run.”

Sleeping Beauty is at the Princes until January 1. There are still some seats available on 01255 686633 or at