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Panto stars bring Christmas magic to hospital ward

Panto 2019

Cast members from the Gala Theatre's panto paid a special visit to children spending the run up to Christmas in hospital.Panto 2019 

The Durham City venue's Christmas pantomime, Aladdin, is on a roll bringing festive thrills and lots of laughter to audiences. 

This week, Aladdin (David Hosie), Princess Jasmine (Eleanor Chaganis), Chief Inspector Thai Chi (Kylie Ann Ford) and the comical Wishee Washee (Paul Hartley) took a break from the stage to spread some magic to children at the Treetops unit at University Hospital North Durham. 

The patients who met the cast included two-year-old Charlie-Boy, from Ferryhill, and his mam, Sinead Williams.   

Paul, who also writes and directs the pantomime alongside fellow cast member Neil Armstrong, said: "It was lovely to meet Charlie-Boy and his mam and the other families at the Treetops unit. It can be a difficult time of year to be in hospital and for young people I am sure there is a fear of missing out on magical experiences like the pantomime. I am so pleased we could bring some of that festive fun and laughter to them."

  The group also took the time to thank NHS staff on the ward for all their hard work which does not stop at Christmas.   

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We're so grateful to the cast of Aladdin for taking time to visit our youngest patients, bringing gifts and Christmas cheer to their families and our hard-working staff." 

There are still tickets left for Aladdin, which runs until Sunday 5 January. For more information or to book please visit Tickets are priced from £10, with family tickets from £50. 

'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital