Pantomime stars put a smile on youngsters’ faces with performance

THEATRICAL Shaun Jordan as Giggles, Heather Foster as Princess Aurora, Ryan Duffy as Prince Hero and Sarah Jefferies as Fairy Nuff with in-patient Chloe McHaffey. Picture: Laura Pooley
THEATRICAL Shaun Jordan as Giggles, Heather Foster as Princess Aurora, Ryan Duffy as Prince Hero and Sarah Jefferies as Fairy Nuff with in-patient Chloe McHaffey. Picture: Laura Pooley
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MUSIC and laughter filled a hospital ward as performers brought the magic of panto to patients.

The paediatric ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham played host to Starlight’s version of Sleeping Beauty.

The children’s charity is touring hospitals and hospices and, during the eight weeks leading up to Christmas, will perform 96 shows.

Yesterday, it performed at QA Hospital for the in-patients and their parents.

Heather Foster, Shaun Jordan, Ryan Duffy and Sarah Jefferies split the pantomime characters between them to put on a fun show for the kids.

Chloe McHaffey, seven, from Chelsea has just arrived at QA.

She said: ‘I enjoyed it. I liked seeing them challenging each other at the end. It was nice to see before Christmas.’

Her mum Louise added: ‘We used to go to pantomimes every year and this is the first time we haven’t gone so it’s nice for her to see one in hospital.

‘When we were at Great Ormond Street Hospital two years ago, they had them there so it’s nice to see.’

Starlight incorporated modern songs and gags,which entertained the children, their parents and the staff that were watching.

Heather, who is also manager of the touring company at Starlight said: ‘We enjoy doing these sort of shows.

‘It’s great to see that the kids and the adults have a good time.

‘They can come and watch us and forget about what can be a hard time for them and their parents. It gives everyone a break.’

For bed-bound Alfie Heslop it was an opportunity for him to get out of his room. The 10-year-old, who is suffering from Perthes disease, which affects the thigh bones, said: ‘This is the first time I have ever seen a pantomime and I liked it.

‘I’m seeing one on Boxing Day so this is like a little warm-up.’

Tracy Morgan, play specialist at the hospital, added: ‘The pantomimes offer a great distraction and Starlight do it purely for the entertainment of the kids.’