‘Aladdin’ panto performances prove a hit
More than 230 disabled children, parents and siblings, enjoyed a free performance of the classic pantomime Aladdin, over the Christmas and New Year period in Staffordshire.
Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, organised the shows. They welcomed guests at venues in Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stafford, thanks to funding from Staffordshire Council as part of their Aiming High programme, developed to provide disabled children with fun activities outside of school.
The performances were delivered by Odd Socks Entertainment who specialise in touring Pantomimes.
Families were also treated to free popcorn, candy floss and fruit juice before the shows making it a truly memorable experience for those who attended the performances.
“It was a magical experience for each family and they thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Becky Derri, from Caudwell Children. “Not only that the free family tickets, which would usually have cost £28, came as a great relief at what is an expensive time of the year.
“Worryingly 78% of disabled children in the UK have no access to activities outside of their house.
“This could be because of a number of things, such as lack of provision or cost, so this was a great chance for children, and their parents, to get out and have some free fun in a fully accessible venue.”
One mum said that her 6-year-old son had a fantastic time at the performance held at Whittington Village Hall, Lichfield, on Saturday 22nd December. As Becky explained: “She was so enthusiastic and happy and explained that it was the first panto that her son had ever been to.
“Apparently he tried to get on to the stage during the performance and the cast had to do all that they could to stop laughing.”
Aladdin is a ‘must see’ production, as Becky explained: “Who doesn’t love the story of the lovable rogue Aladdin and how he stumbles upon a magic oil lamp that unleashes a powerful, wisecracking, larger than life genie.
“The audience loved watching how the pair embarked on a dangerous mission to stop the evil sorcerer Jafar from overthrowing Princess Jasmine’s kingdom.
“There were some great characters in this show who really bought the pantomime to life and made it so much fun.
“The children were captivated by the story and in time honoured fashion they were able to boo the baddies and cheer the goodies.”
Sarah Jeffery, director of Odd Socks Entertainment, was delighted to be involved. As she explained: “The children loved the performance as our script is carefully written by us to ensure that the show is suitable for children of all ages.
“It also featured a great musical score using the latest chart hits which the children also enjoyed as it made the performance topical and relevant.”
The production was part of Caudwell Children’s programme of Activity Days for disabled children. They have been devised to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem, whilst having fun.
To find out more about Caudwell Children’s Activity Days and their regular Activity Clubs across Staffordshire visit the website here.