Starlight Summer Panto brightens smiles on Torbay Hospital Children’s ward

Published: 21 August 2014

Children of Torbay Hospital’s Louisa Cary Ward were treated to an entertaining performance of Robinson Crusoe by the Starlight Children’s Foundation on Monday 11 August.

During the summer months many poorly children undergo treatment on the Louisa Cary Ward and are unable to spend time with their friends and families enjoying the sunshine. In an attempt to lift spirits the Starlight Children’s Foundation performs a summer panto offering up a welcome dose of fun and laughter.

This year’s interactive pantomime, Robinson Crusoe, has been produced exclusively for Starlight by The Panto Company. The show has been developed to fully engage its audience with a brand new adaptation of the children’s classic. The summer panto is written to be full of fun where children will get to cheer and sing-along as four actors perform for them, their families and also staff.

Starlight Children’s Foundation is a national charity that was founded in 1986 and to this day provides entertainment in hundreds of hospitals and hospices across the UK. The pantomime was staged exclusively for Starlight by the interactive theatre group The Panto Company and Torbay Hospital’s Louisa Cary Ward was visited as part of an eight week tour.

Natalie Gilardoni, Play Specialist at Torbay Hospital, said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome Starlight to the Louisa Carey children’s ward. Their presence provides a wonderful distraction for children who are undergoing treatment or recovering from illness. It’s proven that play in hospital aides recovery of children. Patients and staff also thoroughly enjoy the panto experience”.

Neil Swan, Chief Executive of Starlight Children’s Foundation, said, “All of Starlight’s activities are aimed at distracting children from the pain and anxiety that they might be feeling as a result of their illness and Starlight’s Summer Panto is always hugely popular with hospitals and hospices alike. We hope that this performance of Robinson Crusoe will be just what the doctor ordered!”

The pantomime is just one way that Starlight brings fun, laughter and distraction to unwell children across the country. The charity also grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to children with serious and terminal illnesses. A Starlight wish gives a seriously ill child and their family a positive focus during the long hours of treatment and happy memories to treasure, whatever the future may hold.