Fee fie foe fum, a special pantomime performance took place in twenty twenty-one

by Paul Thomsett

The Theatre Royal Windsor was packed on Wednesday 1st December 2021, for a special performance of the Jack and the Beanstalk. The audience included children from Special Educational Needs schools from Berkshire and the surrounding counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey. In addition, many other children who are facing a variety of challenges and being supported by various local charities including Sebastians Action Trust, Chance to Dance, Family Friends Windsor and DASH.

The children together with siblings, parents, teachers and carers were entertained magnificently by a cast that included Anita Harris, along with the Windsor regulars, Stephen Blakely, Kevin Cruse and Basil Brush. Not forgetting Jay Worley who played Jack, Alice Fillary who played Jill and Shirley Ballas from Strictly fame, who provided the voice of the Giant. Oh, and, boom boom ….Basil Brush

All of the tickets for this performance were purchased by Berkshire Freemasons funded by a grant from Berkshire Masonic Charity of £7,600, and aided by a donation from the Louis Baylis Charitable Trust.

The PGM and Deputy PGM with Santa (Rodney Hing) and organiser Neil Murphy

Ice creams for all, were kindly donated by Beechdean. The Freemasons Panto project has been running successfully now for 16 years and is set to continue into 2022 and beyond, helping to bring a little joy and happiness for all those attending at this special time of the year.

The mother of one happy attendee stated:

“We were fortunate enough to be allocated tickets to Jack and the Beanstalk at Windsor Royal theatre yesterday afternoon via your Berkshire Freemasons Panto Project.

I am not sure I can put into words how much it meant to us as a family. We have two children who are at Special Needs schools and to be able to take them to a show where everyone was accepted for who they are, without judgement, was incredible. So much so I shed a few tears to see all the children with their parents and carers having such a joyous time.

We laughed and shouted (raising the roof), booed, sang and danced!

Thank you to you and the Freemasons for this wonderful opportunity for our children to be themselves and the parents and carers to enjoy the experience without stress and judgement.”

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