Starlight brings sunshine to children’s wards across the country with summer panto

An interactive performance of Dick Whittington will be visiting children at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) on Monday 23rd July.

Although the school holidays have arrived and the sun is almost shining, there are many children who won’t have been looking forward to the coming summer months. For children that are ill in hospitals and hospices, this time of year can be a particularly gloomy time and, to bring smiles to these children, Starlight Children’s Foundation will be staging performances of Dick Whittington in children’s wards throughout the UK this summer.

The pantomime has been staged exclusively for Starlight by the interactive theatre group The Panto Company and it will visit 100 hospitals and hospices over the course of an eight week tour. On 23rd July at 2.30pm, Starlight’s Dick Whittington will visit the Jenny Lind Children's Hospital at the NNUH and the panto’s four actors will dance, dazzle and sing for the young patients, their families and the staff.

Every year, Starlight provides entertainment and distraction to over half a million poorly children and this summer’s panto will give thousands of poorly children the chance to boo and hiss at the evil King Rat and cheer Dick Wittington along on his brave quest, all from the safety of the hospital ward.

Jill Wakley, Matron for Children's Outpatient and Ambulatory Care at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said: “It can be a really difficult time for kids that are stuck in hospitals and hospices and Starlight’s pantomime really gives our young patients and their families something to look forward to. While the panto can really help cheer up a poorly child’s day, it can also help to take their minds off their illness and this in turn can have a positive effect on their condition and response to treatment.”

Claire Farr, who plays Alice Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington, said, “We hope that the panto gives every child in hospital something exciting to look forward to and it helps to take their minds off their illness. The panto is jam-packed with fun and entertainment and our focus is on providing a really engaging show that will keep every audience member completely absorbed!”

The pantomime is just one way Starlight improves the lives of seriously and terminally ill children in the UK. Starlight also grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to children of all ages to restore a little joy into their lives. In doing so, many happy memories are created for the children and their families, whatever the future holds.

Notes for editors

For more information on Starlight Children’s Foundation, visit

The Cast:
Claire Farr – Alice Fitzwarren
Dan Costello – Dick Whittington
Tami Stone – Kitty
Ryan Duffy – Blanche The Cook

For press enquiries about Starlight Children’s Foundation please contact Henny Breakwell on 020 7262 2881 or email

Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.

Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.

Thursday 19th of July 2012 11:00:11 AM