Early panto for children of Beckton hospice

07:00 29 September 2012

Murad Shaikh with performers from the Panto Company.

Murad Shaikh with performers from the Panto Company.


Children and their families at a Beckton hospice were treated to an unusual summertime pantomime.

Day residents and visitors to Richard House Children’s Hospice, who look after young people with life-limiting conditions, watched a performance of Dick Whittington performed by the Panto Company.

Organised by the Starlight Foundation, the show tells the story of a poor boy who becomes the Lord Mayor of London thanks to the rat-catching abilities of his cat.

The company are currently performing the play across 100 hospitals and hospices as part of an eight week tour.

One enchanted spectator was Murad Shaikh, 13, from East Ham who said the show was ‘really funny.’

Gowhar, Murad’s mum, said: “We had been on one show before at Christmas, so it was great to go again. Murad thoroughly enjoyed himself.”

Starlight Children’s Foundation brought the play to the children in Richard House Drive to fulfill its mission of granting wishes to seriously and terminally ill youngsters.

Claire Farr, an actress who played Alice Fitzwarren in the pantomime, said: “We hope the panto gives every child in hospital something exciting to look forward to and it helps to take their minds off their illness.

“It is jam-packed with fun and entertainment and our focus is on providing a really engaging show that will keep every audience member completely absorbed.”

For more information on the Starlight Foundation, visit or to find out more about Richard House visit


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