On the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of December, the Kings Hall in Herne Bay played host to this year’s Provincial Pantomime, Treasure Island - oh yes it did!
The cast had been working hard for months to make this a very special event as the matinee performance on Sunday afternoon entertained over 500 special guests. The guests included children of various ages from a range of schools and other special centres and the children were supported by their parents and many of their carers, teachers and helpers.
This was made possible by the generosity of the Freemasons of East Kent, their lodges and chapters, who very kindly donated the money required to make this possible. The difference this makes to the children is very humbling and their interaction with the characters on stage with screams of ‘He’s behind you’, ‘Oh yes he did’ and the boos for the loveable rogue - Long John Silver - were testament to the fun the children (and the adults) were having.
After the performance, the children met with the cast and were treated to some special gifts before finally meeting with Father Christmas amongst a flurry of snow, provided of course by the aid of a special machine, although it was cold enough for the real thing! There were also ice creams for everyone kindly donated by a generous benefactor.
The smiles really said it all and this made all the hard work very satisfying knowing that we had made a difference, even for a couple of hours.
Of course, there were other performances on both the Saturday and Sunday evenings where the audience enjoyed a meal before settling down to watch the show. After the Sunday evening performance, the Head of East Kent Freemasons - Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing - made a special guest appearance on stage and paid tribute to the all the cast and organisers both front and back of house, for their hard work, dedication and commitment.
The proceeds of the weekend will be donated to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity so that the charity can continue to invest in a brighter future, by assisting the vulnerable, and funding opportunities for the disadvantaged in our communities on behalf of East Kent Freemasons.
Report and photos courtesy of Richard Wingett
Groups Supported at the Pantomime
Dover Christchurch Academy
East Kent Mencap
Kent Autistic Trust
St Nicholas School
Allegro Dance School
Ethelbert Childrens Services
Mash (Orchard Centre)
Strode Park (Redwalls)
Strode Park (Out Reach)
Strode Park (Coach House)