Hayling Island teaching assistant puts on one-man Cinderella performance to boost school community's spirits

A CLASSIC fairytale delighted school pupils as it was retold by a teaching assistant wearing colourful wigs and costumes.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 12:09 pm

Hoping to raise school morale, Mark Mathews from Mengham Infant School on Hayling Island took to the small screen to put on a one-man performance of Cinderella.

Mr Mathews, who has worked at the school for nine years, dug out costumes from the dressing-up cupboard and worked hard on the script and filming after school.

The result was a 24-minute pantomime which was posted on the school’s Facebook group for parents, attracting plenty of positive feedback.

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Mr Mathews, from Waterlooville, said: ‘We had the announcement to say schools are closed and it was quite hard.

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‘Most children probably would have seen a pantomime over the Christmas period and will have been denied that last year.

‘It’s just a bit of fun, especially at the moment where it’s hard to get a smile. Things are tough for everyone and we need to have a bit of fun.

Mark Mathews, a higher level teaching assistant at Mengham Infant School, put on a one-man pantomime performance of Cinderella to entertain the pupils. Pictured: Mr Mathews as Cinderella in the cellar

‘I have found it hard, I think everyone has. Just to make people smile is a valuable thing.’

Pupils loved the performance, and some children have been spotted acting it out in the playground.

Amy Byrne, whose daughter goes to Mengham Infants, said: ‘Isabelle loved this! She giggled all the way through this. Thank you Mr Mathews, we are lucky to have you at Mengham Infants.’

Mr Mathews

Another parent, Daisy Foskett said: ‘Nola’s eyes were glued to the screen the entire time laughing and smiling.’

Along with plenty of jokes for the parents, the performance included funny sound effects and gags to make the children laugh.

Lindsay Rebbitt, headteacher, said: ‘One of the most important things for our team during both lockdown periods has been to ensure our families of home learners still feel like part of our school community.

‘Teachers and support staff have read stories online, provided information about promoting positive mental health and supported families through phone calls and Zoom meetings.

Mr Mathews as the wicked stepmother

‘Mark’s brilliant pantomime is another great example of the importance of spreading a little happiness and positivity, especially when things are hard, and I think our children and grown ups’ responses show it has been very much appreciated.’

FareShare is Mr Mathews’ chosen charity if anyone would like to donate after seeing the performance on YouTube.

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Mr Mathews as the Fairy Godmother
Mr Mathews as ugly sisters Lucrecia and Rozelba