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The show must go on on! Charity production for children with disabilities goes ahead despite glitches

Published: 14 Mar 2014 09:150 comments

A charity show for children with disabilities ‘raised the roof’ despite some last-minute hitches.

The cast of The Unexpected Heroes with Christine Turner and Kim Burton from Make A Wish Foundation, which received the proceeds. The show was performed at Sandhurst School and it was particularly aimed at youngsters with disabilities.

Jonathan Turner, 20, produced The Unexpected Heroes in just 12 weeks ahead of its performances.

Mr Turner, from Jennett’s Park, and his fellow actor Ryan Morris, 17, who played Fleshcreep, wrote, cast and produced the show.

It was particularly aimed at children with disabilities, with increased audience participation and special lighting.

Mr Turner said some nights saw 100 people attend the show, and “thoroughly en-joyed themselves” with some parents emailing their praise.

Mr Turner, who played Dame Nelly Trott, said: “We had quite a few disabled children come to the performances, they really enjoyed it; we have had a lot of positive feedback.” Through ticket sales, they managed to raise more than £800 for the Make a Wish Foundation, with more yet to be received.

The 15-strong cast put on the show for three nights at Sandhurst School last month.Louise Jameson – who played Leela in Dr Who – provided the voice of the magic mirror after working with Mr Turner on a previous production.

Due to late cancellations, the show had initially been left short of cast members, sets and costumes. But Mr Turner said: “We appealed through the Midweek and after Louise put the article up on a Dr Who website; lots of people got in touch after reading it.” Shaun Mendum, from the National Ballet, stepped in for two nights and gave his time for free.

Speaking about how the audience received the show, Mr Turner added: “People got up on stage and really had a wonderful time, we had lots of audience participation with water guns and things.

“The kids could relate to it, it really looked like they were having fun. It was a really fulfilling experience and we are looking to do more projects in the future.

“The highlight was seeing all the children’s faces, there were hitches along the way but we managed to work as a team. We’re hoping the show encouraged people with disabilities to go to the theatre and feel included.”

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