On Monday 23rd December, the Victoria Theatre in Halifax live streamed a performance of their panto Beauty and the Beast to the Children’s Wards of Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for the first time ever.
This allowed local children staying in hospital over the festive period to enjoy the seasonal show, offering a bit of theatrical magic to their day.
Who doesn’t love slapstick humour, glittering costumes and fantastic sets – all rounded off with song and dance? Having poorly kids singing along and enjoying the marvellous panto is such a touching and beautiful idea and I can’t applaud The Victoria Theatre enough for this bold and selfless act of Christmas cheer.
Susan Press, the Portfolio Holder for Public Services said: “Christmas is a time for creating happy memories and we’re delighted to be able to offer a little bit of Christmas magic to children who are not able to make it to the Victoria Theatre’s much-loved annual panto, as well as to the wonderful hospital staff who work over the Christmas period providing outstanding care.”
The Trust’s Collaboration Engineer, Richard Hill, said: “It’s been a pleasure to be involved. Everyone – our patients and our staff – are thrilled this happening. A lot of organising between the theatre and Health Informatics at the Trust has happened to enable us to receive the stream. We think it’s wonderful offer and thank Victoria Theatre and everyone involved for creating such a special event.”
On top of this, the theatre are also offering a range of accessible performances of their pantomime Beauty and the Beast this Christmas, to ensure live theatre is available to everyone. This includes a relaxed performance, and integrated signed performances. This means those who are hearing impaired can watch the whole performance – not just stare at someone at the side of the stage – as the interpreter will be involved in the action on stage. It’s such a wonderful idea and lovely that a local theatre is making such an effort to be inclusive and accessible.
Bravo, Victoria Theatre!
Catch Beauty and the Beast until 5th January.