cries of "it's behind you!" will not be heard ringing out from the Malvern Theatres this year after a decision to break with tradition and not stage a pantomime.

Instead, Nic Lloyd, chief executive at Malvern Theatres, has decided to "ring the changes" and put on three plays during December, one being a Christmas play by the Malvern Theatre Players.

He said pantomimes only appeal to a certain section of the audience and by offering a choice he will attract more people.

"I've noticed in the past that certain members of the audience don't come during the Christmas season because we don't put anything on for them, so for that audience we're putting on Die Feldermaus," said Mr Lloyd.

He said that the pantomime producers E and M, who put on last year's show, Aladdin, are under new management so that prompted his decision to "give Cinderella the push".

"I never want to keep things the same but whether this will work, who knows? Let's see!" he said.

Malvern Theatre Players had been putting on pantomimes at Malvern Theatre for 23 years before the professional production was brought in last year.

"We would have been quite prepared to do a panto this year had we been asked but as the resident amateur company we put on what the theatre require," said spokesman Chris Bassett.

"We think Malvern ought to have a pantomime because we must be the only

town of any size in the area that doesn't procession."

Town councillor Martin Eager, a member of the carnival committee, said articulated lorries have negotiated that corner before.

But he said: "Banning articulated lorries is something we shall have to consider. We needed more police there to get people back and get the lorries round."

But Insp Mayor said the safety of the procession and its occupants was the responsibility of the carnival committee."

Committee chairman Steve Clegg said: "I think the marshalling was adequate for the procession but crowd pressure at Top Cross made it hard to corner. I'm not blaming anyone."

The left turn into the High Street is normally forbidden to large lorries but that had was rescinded for Monday's carnival by a special traffic order.

The black and white Grade II* listed building, which has been clipped by vehicles in the past, suffered damage to one corner from the Weston's float.

Herefordshire Council structural engineers were called out to prop up the house "as a precaution".

Mr Clegg said he had been in contact with the building's owners and passed on the carnival committee's insurance details.

The likely cost of the repairs is not yet known.