HAST Panto visit

On Thursday 14 December, some of the Medical Needs teachers took a group of young people to Milton Keynes theatre for a theatre workshop, followed by watching this year's pantomime, Cinderella.  They all had a fantastic time, and were especially excited to meet Gok Wan!

What could be better to round off an amazing winter term than a trip to Milton Keynes Theatre to see a festive pantomime? We arrived on a brisk winter’s morning, gazed in awe at the Christmas decorations and waited in anticipation for the arrival of our students.

‘Cinderella’ – starring Brian Conley and Gok Wan - was going to be a show filled with laughter and merriment that would warm the heart of the coldest Scrooge out there. We knew that today would help us ease into the holidays, reduce anxiety and make new friends, what we didn’t expect was to have an extra surprise bestowed upon us by the wonderful staff at Milton Keynes theatre.

You should have seen the faces light up when the news broke that we were not only going to have a back stage tour but we were going to meet someone famous. Michelle, one of the staff, took us on a marvellous journey back stage to gain an experience that would stay with us for some time and see the world of the theatre in a new light. We learnt so much about the running of the theatre; its history and hidden depths. From a moon, hand drawn on the walls that illuminates and can be seen from the roads at night, to the moving ceilings, green rooms, dressing rooms, views from the heavens and stage, our eyes were opened to the many wonders of this theatre.

However this paled in comparison for some when none other than Gok Wan came out of his dressing room and shook hands with each and every one of us. With only hour or so to go before he was due on stage, Gok took the time to see us and say hello and I must say he came across as lovely in person as he does on the television.

After a brief stop for lunch we headed to our seats, the lights dimmed and the music started. We were enthralled by the beauty of Cinderella, the charm of Prince Charming, the magic of the Fairy Gokmother and the raucous humour of Buttons (AKA Brian Conley). Sitting amidst a sea of young students from schools around Central Bedfordshire it was a joy and pleasure to be a part of this day, what could be more special than to see their happy faces and hear their laughter ringing out, filling the theatre?  Easy – hearing the chortles coming from the two teachers in our row – Mr McDaniel and Mr Christopher!