Whitley Bay pantomime will raise cash for local foodbank


Panto fans are helping to raise money for a foodbank that supports struggling families in Tyneside.

The St Peter’s Pantomime Society is staging The Wizard of Oz at the Crosskeys Community Hall, in Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, from January 28 to 31.

The cash raised will go towards the Bay Foodbank, which was set up in 2012 to provide emergency food parcels to people with little or no income.

The group’s performance of Little Red Riding Hoody made headlines last year as panto dame Andy Chambers, 26, went down on one knee and proposed to his partner Leanne Gilks on stage.

Andy, who will be the dame again this year, said:

“I’ve just qualified as a social worker and I’ve seen how people are struggling.

“We thought it would be a good idea to raise money for a charity that is helping people in need.

“We are also planning to buy some luxury items, the kind of things struggling families would be unable to afford, and hope to carry out a Supermarket Sweep-style trolley dash.

“Last year we raised about £1,200 for the Crosskeys Community Hall and The Grafters Club, which supports children and their families after burn injuries. We hope to raise even more money this year.”

This year’s production of The Wizard of Oz has a twist to the original tale. Instead of a house being blown through a tornado, it will feature Dorothy getting on a plane for a shopping trip to The Emerald City and the plane has to make an emergency landing.

Andy said:

“We will have a couple of good witches and I’m playing one of them. Leanne has directed the show and also has a role of a travelling salesperson.

“There will be comedy and laughter, with the main aim of raising money for the foodbank. It’s a fantastic charity that does some wonderful work.

“It costs almost £40 to put together one package of basic food items. We hope our efforts will help to fill many more parcels.”

Tickets, costing £5 for adults and £4 for children, can be bought by ringing Christine Bartlett on 07752563693. There will be two shows on the Saturday, at 2pm and 7pm.

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 22 Jan 2015


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