The Pantomime Project

The Pantomime Project
Dec 2016
Our fourth annual pantomime was held at the Playhouse theatre Oxford on Thursday 8th December 2016. With over 400 of our special guests (disabled, sick and disadvantaged children) attended along with their parents and carers, meaning that all 598 seats at the theatre were allocated.
(L-R) Rob Murdoch, Martin Hampshire, Steve Sahonta, Trevor Ballinger, Paul Kiefer, Steve Pope,
Paul Kyberd, Ron Bridger, Barclay Lawrence, Kevin Tomes, Yanto Evans
On behalf of the PGM, W.Bro. Alan Meech sent out invitations to all of Oxfordshire's Mayors, Civic Leaders and the Lord Lieutenant asking them to join us for a buffet lunch and then join the children to watch the pantomime. They were formally greeted by James Hilditch, PGM and Neal Spencer, DPGM, who informed them about Freemasonry and our charitable work. Twenty-four dignitaries seemed to really enjoy the afternoon, with all but one staying for the whole performance.
   The other special group who joined Father Christmas (Bill Butcher) in welcoming the children were twelve pantomime dames, namely Trevor Ballinger, Ron Bridger, Yanto Evans, Barclay Lawrence, Martin Hampshire, Paul Kiefer, Paul Kyberd, Rob Murdoch, Steve Pope, Steve Sahonta, Kevin Tomes and Chris Wagstaff. All the brethren worked very hard to ensure that every child attending was made to feel special and have a memorable day. The parents also enjoyed the flirting by the dames and so did all the public and motorists passing the theatre.
   In the theatre every seat had a Santa hat on, whilst each child received a glow stick necklace, sweets and a goody bag when they left as well as an ice cream during the interval for everyone.
   Our army of Santa's helpers dressed in bright red fleeces assisted in looking after the children and ensuring all the questions and queries were smoothed out.
The pantomime committee Brian and Margaret McDonald, Graham Ellis and Roger Hampshire, would like to thank all those who attended and help make this such a special day for all. Also all the Brethren and Lodges that support the project financially. This one afternoon costs us £6K but is money very well spent as we entertained all those children and promoted the charitable side of our organisation to so many people.
PGM and DPGM welcomes the Lord Mayor of Oxford Mohammed Altaf-Khan
Norman MacRae, the leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: "Once again it is wonderful to see so many young people enjoying themselves at this festive time of year it's a particular joy for everyone of all ages and cultures to join in the likes of a traditional pantomime."
Invited Organisations
Action for Children – Henley-on-Thames
Alexander Devine Hospice – Henley
Bardwell School – Bicester
Barnado's Short Breaks – Bicester
Barnardo's – Oxford
Bishopswood School – Sonning
Burford School – Burford
Clear Sky – Blackbird Leys
Clic Sargent – Oxford
Fitzwarren Special School – Wantage
Flexicare – Abingdon
Florence Nightingale Children's Hospice
Footsteps Foundation – Dorchester-on-Thames
Frank Wise School – Banbury
Glory Farm School – Bicester
Hardwick School – Banbury
Helen and Douglas House Hospice – Oxford
Isis Academy – Rose Hill
John Radcliffe Children's Hospital
John Watson School – Wheatley
Keen – Oxford
Kids Cancer Charity
Kingfisher School – Cumnor
Mabel Pritchard School – Oxford
Meadowbrook College – Oxford
Northfield School – Blackbird Leys
Pace Centre – Aylesbury
Pathway – Blackbird Leys
Rainbow Children's Centre & Nomad – Henley-on-Thames
Schools throughout Oxfordshire
Springfield School – Witney
Swings and Smiles
Sycamore Resource Centre – Banbury
Witney Rugby Club (Special Needs Team)
Woodeaton School – Woodeaton
and Individual Families
Make up Artist
Special thanks goes to Gita Konschak of Lapis Lizard for the way she transformed the brethren to beautiful dames (their words) by having a professional makeup artist the Dames looked really special and enhanced the thrill for the children.
In the Press
"The Pantomime Project" arranges a special performance of Zippos Circus
Apr 2016
The Pantomime Project
Dec 2015
Christmas Treat for Oxfordshire's Disabled and Disadvantaged Children
Dec 2014
The Pantomime Project
Dec 2013