Special panto cast visit to school

Members of the Ripon Charity Panto Group with children at Ohana.
Members of the Ripon Charity Panto Group with children at Ohana.

Children at the Ohana charity group, which supports families with special educational needs, were thrilled when cast members of the Little Red Riding Hood pantomime paid a special visit last weekend.

Little Red Riding Hood, Granny (Dame Fran Tick), Circus Master Rick, Juggling Clown Jake and Ripon Charity Pantomime Group committee Member Helena Tarren visited them on Saturday 7 January at Holy Trinity School.

Little Red Riding Hood (Emma Money) handed out muffins during the visit.

Little Red Riding Hood (Emma Money) handed out muffins during the visit.

The group, which meets every Saturday morning in term time, provides a parent support group and a play club for children aged 5-11 with special needs.

The aim of the visit was to give the children some first-hand panto experience within an environment where they feel comfortable.

It also gave the children and their families a chance to find out about the characters before attending the pantomime.

Little Red Riding Hood (Emma Money) handed out muffins from her basket while Rick the Circus Master (Jess Plunket) and the Juggling Clown (Jake England) encouraged children to join them juggling balls and rings, and also to have a go at spinning plates while the panto dame (Chris Scott), wearing her best pink and yellow frock and matching hat, handed out pantomime flyers to the parents with committee member Helena Tarren.

The cast also sang one of the songs from the show.

Chris Scott, playing Fran Tick, the hilarious panto dame (andg ranny to Little Red) is a new comer to the group, having recently moved to Ripon from the Derbyshire area.

Ryan Stocks, producer and script writer for the Little Red Riding Hood pantomime, said: “When Ripon Charity Pantomime Group were invited to go along to the Ohana charity to see the children, we were very happy to arrange for some of the cast to provide a pantomime taster session.

“This visit was totally in-keeping with our panto production team’s aims which are to raise funds and help the many charities and good causes in the area, while helping a variety of young people to boost their self-confidence in a light hearted fun way, with some more mature and experienced cast members, and, put on a pantomime show for the local people in the city.”

In the last 40 years, Ripon Charity Pantomime Group has raised in excess of £50,000 supporting a wide range of local organisations such as the Ripon Walled Garden, Defibrillators for Ripon , YMCA Ripon, Scuba Diving for All, North Yorkshire West Guides, H.A.P.P.Y (hedgehog rescue), Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs and Ripon Christmas Market.

After visiting the children, cast members handed out panto flyers in Ripon Market Square to boost ticket sales for the forthcoming performances at Outwood Academy between Wednesday 11 January and Saturday 14 January.

Tickets are available sale from Stuff 4 Offices, 13 Fishergate, Ripon, (opposite The Original Factory Shop). Contact 01765 608122 for more information.