Children at QA Hospital enjoy '˜magical' visit from cast of New Theatre Royal's Peter PanÂ

'˜MAGICAL' characters swapped the stage for a city hospital's paediatric ward in a bid to spread some Christmas cheer.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 9:31 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:33 am
George O'Shaughnessy, 5, meeting the Peter Pan cast. Yasmine Gazzal is Tinkerbell, Sam Bailey is Peter Pan and Hannah McIver is Wendy. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Actors from The New Theatre Royal's Christmas show Peter Pan were greeted by scores of smiling faces when they paid a visit to Queen Alexandra Hospital yesterday afternoon. 

The treat for youngsters came just three days after a visit from players at Portsmouth Football Club '“ and saw three cast members go along. 

Hannah Mciver plays Wendy Darling in the tale '“ which will run until New Year's Eve '“ while Samuel Bailey brings the unmistakable Peter Pan to life, alongside Yasmine Gazzal in the ensemble, as she plays Tinkerbell.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

George O'Shaughnessy, 5, meeting the Peter Pan cast. Yasmine Gazzal is Tinkerbell, Sam Bailey is Peter Pan and Hannah McIver is Wendy. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Poking their heads into the first of many rooms on the ward in Cosham yesterday, the trio were greeted by young Millie-Ruby Turvey and her parents, Gardene and Michael. 

After making memories and posing for a picture with the cast, the eight-year-old said the visit made for a '˜special' day. 

'˜It was really exciting and I was really shocked when they came in,' she said. 

Her mother, 35, added: '˜It's the worst time of year to be unwell but all the staff have been amazing. Millie thinks this is all for her and it's so lovely.' 

Millie-Ruby Turvey, 8, meeting the Peter Pan cast - Yasmine Gazzal as Tinkerbell, Sam Bailey as Peter Pan and Hannah McIver as Wendy. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Garnering waves and smiles from ward staff, the characters progressed to the room of five-year-old George O'Shaughnessy. 

The energetic youngster has fought off leukaemia three times in four years, but was recently admitted to QA as a precautionary measure for an infection. 

His mother Amy, 33 from Waltham Chase, said: '˜We're not sure whether we'll be here for Christmas yet, we're waiting on doctor's orders.

'˜But this visit is what makes hospital quite a happy place to be at this time of year '“ it has brightened up George's day.'

Tilly Scholfield, 8 with the Peter Pan cast - Yasmine Gazzal as Tinkerbell, Sam Bailey as Peter Pan and Hannah McIver as Wendy. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Among the final visits made during the afternoon was one to 14-year-old Belladonna Galea and her father Dean. 

Wearing a smile, the Portsmouth youngster said the brief encounter with Neverland's finest was '˜magical'. 

Mr Galea, 55, added: '˜We were shocked, certainly because we had the Pompey football team on Monday. But it's been really good fun to see everyone.' 

Anne Ricketts, play specialist at QA, said: '˜It's been lovely to welcome the cast today because many of the children have been in theatre this morning and this cheers them up.' 

Belladonna Galea, 14, meeting the Peter Pan cast - Yasmine Gazzal as Tinkerbell, Sam Bailey as Peter Pan and Hannah McIver as Wendy. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Scott Ramsay, director and chief executive at the New Theatre Royal, added: '˜Community has always been at the heart of everything we do at the New Theatre Royal, so we were delighted to pay a visit to the children's ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital with the cast from our Christmas show. It's particularly poignant for us as this year's show is an adaptation of J M Barrie's Peter Pan, which has such a significant history of supporting and inspiring young and poorly children. We were thrilled to bring the magic of Neverland to the children's ward and introduce patients, their families and staff to characters.'

Joshua Robinson, 11, meeting Sam Bailey, as Peter Pan. Picture: Habibur Rahman