They’re behind you! Panto stars put on a show for QA children

Cast members of Starlight Children's Foundation pantomime with children from the ward
Cast members of Starlight Children's Foundation pantomime with children from the ward
Gemma Weir and Michelle Frank. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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CHILDREN on the paediatric ward of Queen Alexandra Hospital were treated to a pantomime show.

Starlight Children’s Foundation put on a performance of Cinderella with dances, jokes and popular songs.

The show was really good too and the kids seemed to have fun.’

Sarah Thompson

The youngsters clapped along and joined in with the fun during the show and afterwards, they got to meet the actors and have pictures.

Nine-year-old Daisy Conlon was in the Cosham hospital after injuring her finger.

She said: ‘The pantomime was really good. I liked the beginning and all the songs.

‘It was great to see the show while being in hospital.’

James Martin, aged five, watched the show with his mum Sarah Thompson. James has a rare, long-term condition called infantile Alexander disease which affects the nervous system.

Sarah, from Havant, said: ‘This was James’ first pantomime and he really enjoyed it.

‘It is a brilliant idea for the charity and the hospital to organise. The show was really good too and the kids seemed to have fun.’

And it is not just the children who love watching the show. Their parents and the staff of the paediatric department also enjoyed it.

Sue Richardson, play specialist, said: ‘The children are always thrilled when the show comes to visit. They have happy faces and it gets them out of their beds which is great.

‘It brings back some normality to staying in hospital and they get to experience things they might otherwise be missing.

‘Some of the children might not be able to get to a pantomime so it is good they can experience it while in hospital.

‘Their parents love it too and so do the staff.’

Starlight Children’s Foundation visits QA Hospital every year with a different story and selection of songs.

They tour the country visiting hospitals and hospices and manager Ryan Brown, who played Buttons in the show, said it was great meeting the kids and seeing how much they enjoy the performance.

‘It is physically exhausting as we do two shows a day, six days a week for eight weeks,’ he said.

‘But when we see how happy the kids are and the difference it can make to their day it is totally worth it.’