Oh yes they can! Brightlingsea WinterFest has helped to fund a trip to the panto for pupils at the town’s primary school – which was in danger of being cancelled for lack of funds.
A shortfall in funding for a trip to see Aladdin at Clacton’s Princes Theatre meant that 180 children in years 1 and 2 might have missed out on the treat. But WinterFest came to the rescue with a grant from its Wellbeing Fund, which helped to make the trip possible.The children and staff had “the best time” at the pantomime and were even able to meet some the cast.
Laura Khine, headteacher at Brightlingsea Primary School said: “We were so grateful for WinterFest’s generous contribution to the pantomime trip and we wouldn’t have been able to go without that support.”
She added: “A trip to the panto is not just a fun day out for the children – though it is that too – but can often be their first experience of live theatre. As such this is an important cultural trip to help open pupils’ minds to the creative world of the arts.”
Melanie Bridle, a Brightlingsea music teacher and a WinterFest crew member, said: “It is very heartwarming to hear that the children had a wonderful time at the pantomime. Theatre experiences like this are so important for young people and can inspire a lifetime’s interest in the arts.”
The trip was also partly funded by the theatre’s Theatre Access Fund, which provides grants to schools, youth and charity organisations to help people enjoy theatre who would otherwise be unable to do so.
This year’s panto at the Tendring District Council-run Princes Theatre is Aladdin and stars John Altman – Eastenders’ ‘nasty Nick’. It runs until January 1 – for tickets and information click here.