Sir: "The Mayflower is our first home outside London" says Derek Deane, Artistic Director of English National Ballet in your article "A sweet suite to suit all sorts" (20 November).
How appalling therefore, that Arts Council funding restrictions should cause the company to reduce their weeks at our theatre in 1998 from three to two. That means there will be no return of their brilliant new Nutcracker next year despite our selling every seat (over 10,000) a week ago.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet are also cutting back their touring because of insufficient funding and have chosen to lose their date with us. Consequently in 1998, the Mayflower - the only large scale theatre in the South - will be offering audiences only two weeks of ballet as opposed to the usual four.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the funding of London ballet and opera, the Arts Council of England have shown a total lack of regard or planning by causing such a blow to the South's arts.
DENNIS L J HALL
The Mayflower Theatre