It won’t be long before we can say of 2020 that “it’s behind you!” Before then an online pantomime is attempting to come to the rescue of UK charities and arts organisations this Christmas.
A streamed performance of Sleeping Beauty will take place from 14 December 2020 to 3 January 2021, to help bring a pantomime performance this Christmas to families and theatre audiences, and to raise funds for charities.
Filmed live at the Brindley Theatre, the show has been re-mastered by The Original Online Panto Company for digital audiences in the UK and internationally.
The initiative is the idea of veteran pantomime producer Karen Courtney. She said:
“This year, I’ve seen colleagues, friends, theatres and the creative industries suffer and I wanted to do something to support them and help the charity sector while keeping the panto season alive. We had weeks to turn this around and what we’ve made is incredible, working with a fantastic production of Sleeping Beauty by Polka Dot Pantomimes. The most important thing to all of us involved is to ensure that charities who need the funding the most benefit from the sales of these tickets.”
Panto is an essential and significant source of income to many theatre companies and venues, but physical performances are not a financially viable option given public health restrictions in response to the ongoing pandemic.
The Original Online Panto Company’s two-hour performance stars comedian Crissy Roc, star of ‘Benidorm’ and ‘I’m A Celebrity’, as Fairy Nuff, and Robert Squire as Nanny Nora Knickerdrawer.
Charlie Griffiths plays the evil Carabosse, luring Rebecca Lake’s Aurora to an enchanted encounter with evil intent.
The viewing period opens at 12am GMT on 14th December and closes 11.55pm on 3rd of January. Tickets are now on sale.
Links to the performance will be valid for four days from audience members’ first viewing within this period.
Fundraising for theatres and charities
UK charities and theatres across the country will receive a donation with every streaming purchased.
Karen Courtney explained: “If you’re reading this and you have a theatre, a charity, or maybe you’re a performer who has had a tough year, why not get involved promoting what we hope will become the biggest pantomime production in the world, seen by millions while raising funds for your cause?
“People of every age will love this production of Sleeping Beauty, it’s the perfect gift to send loved ones and hopefully everyone buying tickets will feel happier this Christmas knowing they’ve supported UK charities and the arts.”
A donation from the main event page on Ticketmaster Universe, priced at £15.49 per household, will be split equally between the Actors Benevolent Fund and the Equity Benevolent Fund. School bookings are also available from email@example.com.
Regional theatres promoting the show to their patrons can receive a share in revenue from ticket sales they generate.
Any charity can take part and receive revenue from the ticket sales for the event that they can generate from their supporters. National charities that are already taking part include MENCAP, Great Ormond Street and Cancer Research UK. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
More on offer
The magic from The Original Online Panto Company doesn’t stop with the show. Professional theatre actors who would have been appearing in panto this Christmas are helping to raise funds for charities by recording bespoke video messages for people wishing to customise their viewing experience of The Sleeping Beauty.
Actor and writer Eric Potts who has also been involved in the creation of the project said: “With the added option of a personalised message from Father Christmas in Lapland, this is everything you need for a magical and memorable treat this Christmas.”
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