Lancaster theatre to hold exclusive pantomime show for children with special needs

The Cinderella cast at Lancaster Grand Theatre.
The Cinderella cast at Lancaster Grand Theatre.

A Lancaster theatre is holding a special performance to give children with special needs the chance to watch a pantomime.

The cast of Cinderella are getting together at the weekend to hold a free show exclusively for families who have children with autism and other special needs.

Over 80 families will fill the Lancaster Grand Theatre on Sunday, some of who have never been to the theatre before.

“The idea of taking children, especially children with autism to something like this, it is challenging,” said Lucy Ellis, chair of Lancashire Parent Carer Forum.

“You are not sure how they are going to react and the thought of that behaviour when your child is screaming or frustrated, it puts you off going.

“You still have that belief from some ‘oh its their behaviour and it is parents spoiling’, when it isn’t, it is a medical condition that is affecting that child.

“It’s every child’s right to go and see a pantomime, it is a part of growing up.”

Ms Ellis contacted Ellie Singleton, theatre manager at the Grand, to ask if they could help and just hours after help arrived and theatre seats began to fill.

“I’m really excited, the response has been amazing,” said Ms Ellis, who is a parent of three children with various special needs.

“I want to send a massive thank you to the Grand and the cast who are doing this as an extra, they have been so supportive.”

The Cinderella cast will perform the dress rehearsal for the families this Sunday (November 27) at 3pm.

There will be a collection for the Lancaster and District Homeless Action service (LDHAS) during the performance.

Meanwhile the Cinderella pantomime runs at the Grand from December 2-29, with evening shows commencing at 7.30pm and weekend shows commencing at 2.30pm. For the first three nights there will be a meet and greet with the cast and Santa after the show. Tickets cost, £9/£8 concessions, family tickets £31, boxing day £10/£9 on 01524 64695 (no family tickets available Christmas Eve or Boxing Day). Christmas Eve has sold out.