Panto star visits Portsmouth school

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith
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IT’S not very often that children get a visit from a pantomime star at their school.

But lucky pupils at Manor Infants in Fratton had just that as actor Jack Edwards spent some time with Year 2 students.

143342_PANTO_25/11/14''(l-r) Charlie Payne (6), Neve Norgate (6) and Jack Edwards. ''Jack Edwards who stars as Abanazar in Kings Theatre Portsmouth production of Aladdin, meeting children at Manor Infant School, to enrich their 'Once Upon a Time' topic. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143342-396) PPP-141125-132803001

143342_PANTO_25/11/14''(l-r) Charlie Payne (6), Neve Norgate (6) and Jack Edwards. ''Jack Edwards who stars as Abanazar in Kings Theatre Portsmouth production of Aladdin, meeting children at Manor Infant School, to enrich their 'Once Upon a Time' topic. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143342-396) PPP-141125-132803001

He is playing the villain Abanazar in the pantomime Aladdin, which starts at the Kings Theatre in Southsea next month.

The children listened to Jack talking about being an actor and what a pantomime is all about and they then got the opportunity to quiz him about his career.

‘It’s to try and get the kids involved in the whole panto process,’ Jack said.

‘A lot of them are scared of panto so it’s trying to introduce it to the school and make it more friendly.

143342_PANTO_25/11/14''Jack Edwards who stars as Abanazar in Kings Theatre Portsmouth production of Aladdin, meeting children at Manor Infant School, to enrich their 'Once Upon a Time' topic. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143342-358) PPP-141125-132751001

143342_PANTO_25/11/14''Jack Edwards who stars as Abanazar in Kings Theatre Portsmouth production of Aladdin, meeting children at Manor Infant School, to enrich their 'Once Upon a Time' topic. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143342-358) PPP-141125-132751001

‘Obviously, I’m a bad character in the show but actually it’s nice for them to understand that it’s not real.

‘We need to try and introduce the friendliness into it as well.’

Jack said it’s good for youngsters to have an insight into the world of acting.

‘Everybody who’s not involved in the acting world thinks everything just happens and you walk on stage.

‘But leading up to the production it’s a massive process.

‘We rehearse, and you have to learn your script, music, and dance routines.

‘They really joined in and I was pleased.

‘I’m hoping I have given them an insight into both sides of it. It’s not that scary. It’s just entertainment.’

Mitchell Newton, six, said: ‘I’m happy that he came to our school. I feel very lucky.’

Ruby Clark, six, added: ‘It’s brilliant because he’s funny.

‘I feel special. We learned that you can be an actor at any age.’

Year 2 teacher Ben Scott said: ‘It’s wonderful.

‘We’re doing so much work on writing skills but for the children to have first-hand experiences and to go away and use those skills is wonderful for them.

‘We’ve been doing lots of creative writing about his costume and character.

‘You can tell by their response it’s been very exciting for them. He has been entertaining.’

Children at the school are going to watch the pantomime which begins on Tuesday, December 9. Visit kingsportsmouth.co.uk for tickets.