Woodford County High School 2015

Mareeha Zaman, Zobya Hussein, Karishma Desai, Imisioluwa Omotade, Noor Chughtai

winter panto
at a children's
hospice

Their story, in their words…

“A challenge for us…a gift for others! Our plan was to bring a smile to the faces of a few ailing children at Haven House hospice.

It was not until we actually started carrying the project out that we realised the immense amount of organisation and planning that was needed. First things first, our pantomime, which was based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, needed a fun and lively script. With all the dragons and potions and dungeons one could possibly fit on to fifteen pages, this script had all the elements of a magical and mythical fairytale that was bound to get the children at our local hospice engaged.

The next step was to find a talented cast. The plan was to get students from our own school to perform. We aimed to produce a pantomime with elements of great acting and singing but what really intrigued us was seeing students enthusiastically interact with an audience. After choosing a talented cast we held continuous rehearsals at school during lunchtimes. It was tough but we practiced until all the actors got their stage directions, lines and expressions coordinated.

From spreadsheets to maps to project logs, we also had to plan where we could buy colourful costumes and props that would do justice to our pantomime. We also had to manage a budget. But the real challenge was to actually go on a long 2-hour trek to central London in the freezing cold in search for our lighting for the pantomime!

When the day arrived, we started getting butterflies. Will the actors get here on time? Hope no one forgets any of their lines! Have we got all the props we needed? All these thoughts kept rushing into our mind.

The narrators introduced the first scene. There was silence in the auditorium. Are they not liking it? we wondered. But then a laugh…and then another and then before we know it we’ had all the nurses and children giggling at the cheeky dwarves, admiring the coy Snow White and gasping at the evil queen! The smiles of the children and the applause at the end were reward enough.

We had our story in the local paper too.  The experience showed us the kind of care the hospice provides for life limited children. The hard work we put into bringing the project to life was all worth it at the end.”