CAST members from All and Sundry’s Aladdin went to Birmingham Children’s Hospital to perform selected scenes from the show for patients there.
The event was organised by Martina Ponsonby who is a trustee of the Young at Heart charity which supports children with heart conditions and their families who receive care at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Martina’s son Max was born with a serious heart defect and has undergone several life-saving heart operations.
Ben, Martina’s other son, also had a serious form of Streptococcal several years ago and received treatment, care and support at the Children’s.
At the event at the Children’s on November 30, the small room was packed with children who will be spending their Christmas in hospital.
The moment Abanazer, played on the day by Emma Hay, walked out they started booing and hissing, then when Aladdin – aka Dave Berrisford – appeared on the makeshift stage a cry of ‘I love you Aladdin’ came from a little girl sat in the front row.
Director Alison Beresford said: “It truly was a magical experience – I was immensely proud of my cast.”
Martina said: “I know only too well what it is like to spend Christmas in hospital with your child and how it impacts on them and the family and thought it would be wonderful if we could offer a little light distraction for the children even if it was only for an hour.
“I hoped that if we could get even a few principal cast members to put something together as I knew it would be rewarding.
“I was quite taken aback when the whole principal cast all agreed to give up their time to go.”
After the performance the cast went around the wards to visit the children who were too poorly to come and see the show, they took sweets and small presents to hand out.
“You could tell that the children were thrilled to see some of their favourite characters so close up and the staff were so welcoming,” added Alison.
And Martina said: “With all the negative stories we hear on a daily basis these days, it certainly re-enforced my belief in a caring society to have this response and I am so grateful to All and Sundry for agreeing to the panto ‘going on the road’ and to Alison for taking on the extra organisation of the trip along with all the wonderful cast members.”