Oldham Coliseum’s pantomime cast makes annual visit to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice

THERE was festive fun and laughter as the cast of Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s pantomime visited Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Royton.

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk met patients and staff on what has become an annual highlight marking the start of the festive season at the hospice.

Richard J Fletcher (Dame Dotty Trott) with Myra Egerton and Colleen Ainsworth (Pictures by Andy Russell)

Richard J Fletcher, Sam Glen, Mitesh Soni, Shorelle Hepkin, Jenny Platt, Sophie Mercell and Patrick Bridgman set off for the Royton hospice as soon as the matinee curtain fell.

They chatted with patients and staff and posed for photographs in the Well-Being Centre before heading to the temporary Inpatient Unit to visit patients in their rooms.

Lyndsey Donbavand, Quality and Governance Manager at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, commented: “It’s been great for everyone – the patients can’t wait to see the actors and find out what this year’s panto is all about.”

Lee Buckley, Complementary Therapist, added: “The patients always look forward to the pantomime visit every year, it’s become a bit of a tradition here.

“They love the theatrics of it all, the costumes and having a chat with the actors. It’s a really lovely thing for them to experience. It’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

The cast also heard about the plans for the hospice’s new build, currently under construction, to transform the 12-bed Inpatient Unit into individual en-suite rooms with views of a newly landscaped garden.

This is the fourth year the Coliseum’s pantomime cast have visited the hospice to spread Christmas cheer in a collaborative event arranged by theatre and hospice staff.

After 11 years as the Coliseum’s beloved Pantomime Comic, this year Richard plays the Pantomime Dame for the first time as Dame Dotty Trott.

He arrived at the hospice in a dress dedicated to Oldham Athletic, complete with a meat pie, sausage roll wig.

Richard commented: “It’s a highlight at the beginning of our pantomime run each year to go and put smiles on people’s faces at Dr Kershaw’s because they do such a great job.”

Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s nationally renowned pantomime has been putting the extra sparkle into the festive season for generations with hit songs, silliness, a sprinkling of fairy dust and a generous helping of It’s Behind You!

With a fairy, a GIANT and a hippy cow, this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk is the perfect Christmas treat for kids and not-so-grown-up grown-ups.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at Oldham Coliseum Theatre from Saturday 16 November 2019 – Saturday 11 January 2020.   

Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0161 624 2829 or online at www.coliseum.org.uk

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