AN ALL-SINGING and dancing show will be put on in tribute to a close friend of a performing arts school’s founder.
Dance-a-cality is putting on the show, called The Magic of Musicals, to raise money for the Countess Mountbatten Hospice.
The school’s principal Lara Jean Hallam decided to help the hospice because it helped Penny Scott, an old friend of her family, in her final stages of pancreatic cancer.
Lara Jean, 30, said: ‘I had always called her Auntie Penny, even though we’re not related. She was diagnosed with cancer last April, but she fought hard and she didn’t get very ill until January this year when she started going downhill very fast.
‘She went into the hospice and they were fantastic. We had already decided on doing the show in aid of the hospice, but then Penny died on April 5. We decided it would be fitting to carry on with doing it for the hospice.’
Penny, who was 69, was well-known through her work in the community and as a seamstress, and had lived in Stubbington for more than 30 years. Nearly 200 people packed St Faith’s Church in Lee-on-the-Solent for her funeral on Monday.
Penny’s daughter Anna Arthur, from Croydon, said: ‘It was an amazing turnout, we thought there would be about 100 people.
‘She knew so many people – she worked most of her career at Heathfields Special School, was in the WI, and very into her crafts.
‘We’ve known Lara and her family for a long time.
‘She made a lot of dresses for Lara and her shows.
‘The show is really touching, it’s a lovely tribute, and we’ll be coming down to see it.’
There will be two performances at the Sarisbury Green Community Centre in The Green, Sarisbury Green, on Saturday, May 18 at 7pm and the next day at 2.30pm. Tickets are available at dance-a-cality.co.uk, or on 07736 320103 and cost £8 for adults, £6 for seniors/children.