Panto treat for sick Newham children

A group of sick children at Newham University Hospital enjoyed a special pantomime treat to take their mind off being in hospital over the summer.

The pantomime has been staged for Starlight by the interactive theatre group The Panto Company and plans to visit 100 hospitals and hospices during an eight week tour.

Every year, Starlight provides entertainment and distraction to over half a million poorly children. This summer’s panto will give thousands of them the chance to boo and hiss at the evil King Rat and cheer Dick Whittington along on his brave quest, all from the safety of the hospital ward.

Hamera Sohail, Play Specialist at Newham University Hospital, said, “Our young patients really enjoyed the distraction from being in hospital and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Play offers poorly children a way of escaping the pain and anxiety that they might be feeling as a result of their illness and Starlight’s panto is always a great dose of fun for our young patients.”

Rukiya Malik, whose daughter Zahrah saw the pantomime on Rainbow Ward, said: “It was very good and interesting for the children.”

Claire Farr, who plays Alice Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington, said: “We hope that the panto gives every child in hospital something exciting to look forward to and it helps to take their minds off their illness. The panto 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.”