East Kent Freemasons Pantomime – Robin Hood
The East Kent Freemasons’ pantomime crew excelled themselves once again with a super weekend of entertainment at the King’s Hall, Herne Bay.
The evening performances were well-supported with over 150 diners attending each performance. The matinee was an absolute sell-out with over 600 adults and children. Included in the afternoon audience were 400 disadvantaged youngsters and their carers, from 23 different homes, organisations and centres, attending thanks to a generously supported sponsorship scheme.
Each sponsorship enabled a disadvantaged youngster and their carer to watch the show, receive a gift pack that included an advent calendar, a teddy bear, a goody bag of sweets and glow-sticks. They were also given an ice-cream, autographs of cast members and, with the UK’s biggest snow cannon placed outside the building, the wonderful spectacle of snow falling as they left to be waved off by Father Christmas.
The Provincial Charity Committee launched this scheme in September and wishes to thank the many lodges, chapters and individuals who gave it their support. The show followed the traditional pantomime theme of corny jokes, double-entendres and garish costumes with live music supplied by musicians drawn from the former ”Cymbolick Penalties”.
As you might expect, the show included some baddies, who drew many boos from the audience, some village idiots, a weird soothsayer, an enchantress, a group of merry men and, of course, a pantomime dame. Topping the bill were Robin Hood and Maid Marion.
All members of the cast, the director, the band, the support team backstage and front-of-house were East Kent Freemasons, together with some of their wives, all of whom volunteered their services. The icing on the cake was provided by a glamorous dance troupe from Starquest Performing Arts, based in Chatham.
In his statement in the pantomime programme, the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Geoffrey Dearing, thanked the volunteers and pointed out that they had been rehearsing tirelessly for many months to make this a special occasion.
He also thanked the prime movers: the organiser, Mark Bassant, the Director, Ralph Apperley and the Musical Director, Jake Jackson, for their hard work. Finally he took the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
The proceeds will go to the new Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, whose aim is to support East Kent communities by providing financial help and relief for charities, voluntary organisations and individuals in need.