Panto Outings – Christmas 2017

Our outings to Pantos at Christmas are the most waited-for events every year. Families contact us months in advance in order to be able to go with us. We try to select families who are most in need (families on low income, families with disabilities, etc.) and we also prioritise those who have never come to our outings before. However, since our outings are important social events, we also try to keep onboard, when possible, families who have been our users for years, giving them and the opportunity to meet each other again.

On Sunday 3 December 2017 we took a double decker bus, plus a minibus, of children and parents to see Snow White at the Pavilion Theatre in Worthing, featuring West End and X Factor finalist Niki Evans as the Queen and West End actress Cassie Compton as Snow White.

On Sunday 10 December 2017 we took another equally large lot to see Dick Whittington and His Cat at Eastbourne Theatre, an amazing play where a funny script was matched by beautiful special effects and 3D work – including an unforgettable submarine scene. A few days later, a young mother mentioned with excitement to us at CASE Central a huge octopus that appeared in that scene! Many other parents and children may remember the jokes…

Our outings to Panto are not just recreation and fun. Watching a theatre play, with its dialogues, songs and dance, should be part of every children’s education and experience. Pantos are a display of stunning skills from creative people, the director, the playwright, the players, the light technicians, the musicians, the graphic and costume designers, etc., and it is sad that due to the increasing poverty that affects out local community many children do not have any opportunity to come into contact with all this. As an example of how this experience can change children’s lives: in January 2018 one of our guests told us that Dick Whittington and His Cat inspired their daughter into study drama and become, one day, a theatre actor!

After the play we took our guests to a dinner at Day’s Oriental Buffet in Brighton, where parents and children could choose Chinese and Thai food and eat as much as they liked in a large, elegant venue. This was the first year we took our families to Days and are very grateful to our organisers Ros and Maggie for choosing it.

We are also pleased of having received very positive feedback from our families. Among the enthusiastic comments we read: ‘What a day! we were so very fortunate in being able to go to the Pantomime and enjoy festive fun. It was amazing. Our 3 children have never been to a Panto, they were so very happy. We were so well looked after, we had a bus there, good seats and lots of fun. The meal afterwards was beyond our expectations’; ‘Ria loved her first ever Panto. We are very grateful to have been allowed to come. Ria didn’t stop laughing and enjoying every moment, especially when she could stuff her face at Days restaurant’; ‘We enjoyed the pantomime and Alex had his first ride on the top deck of a bus. We enjoyed the food at Days too’; ‘Nice to be out with the Hollingdean community on a pre-Christmas date. Fantastic fun, great performance, the threatre finished by Delicious Meal’; ‘Had a great day. Kids had a fantastic time. Wouldn’t be able to afford this trip without CASE. Thanks again ladies’.

Again many thanks to our excellent Event Organisers and all those who helped on the day. Without these great volunteers CASE Central would not be able to offer these events to our community. Also, many thanks to all our donors and supporters who have made these events possible, especially Sussex Community Foundation. With help and support, we hope we can continue our so much needed activity.