A group of 24 lucky young carers were treated to a performance of Aladdin, the Pantomime, at Bournemouth Pavilion – all thanks to Variety. The under-twelves from St Clements and Bethany schools in Boscombe, as well as teenagers from St Edwards RC School in Parkstone, cheered, hissed and boo-ed at the show. They watched spellbound as good overcame evil when the plan of ‘baddy’ Abanazar (Richard Blackwood) to use the magic lamp to help him win the hand of Princess Jasmine (Kelly Agredo) and steal her father’s fortune, was roundly thwarted.

After interval ice-creams, the youngsters were enthralled by Aladdin’s exciting magical carpet ride to rescue his princess, which was followed by a traditional panto wedding finale. The children then went up on stage to be photographed with the cast.

Julia Winston, Senco at Bethany School said: “We are so lucky to have Variety thinking of our children and working so hard to give them joy and memories to last a lifetime”. ‬ ‬

Teaching assistant Nicky Steele said: “Thank you Frances and Variety. Watching the expressions of joy on the children’s faces and hearing their laughter today was wonderful. They all had a fabulous time and didn’t want to leave”‬‬‬

Frances Cornelius, chair of Variety Wessex said: “A huge thank you to all the Aladdin cast for taking the time between performances to be photographed with our young carers. You’ve given them all a memory to treasure”.

After each performance of Aladdin, the theatre holds a bucket collection for Variety, to raise vital funds for our work.