Panto Wheels is a scheme, set up by Cambridge Arts Theatre, to help children from culturally and socially disadvantaged areas attend the Christmas pantomime by subsidising the cost of travel and tickets.
Last year Panto Wheels brought 2,600 children from in and around Cambridge to see Cinderella.
With you, we are very proud to reach out to the local community, helping thousands of children from a range of backgrounds and with diverse needs to begin their relationship with theatre in a bright, fun and engaging environment – nurturing and inspiring a lifelong love of the performing arts.
“Attending any form of theatre was a first for the majority of pupils that visited as they can be overwhelmed by loud noise, bright lights and new surroundings, however the pupils were spellbound by the performance. Thank you for offering our pupils this opportunity and please thank everyone for the fabulous show and for helping our pupils feel relaxed in a totally new environment. The best quote from a pupil was ‘That was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I loved it’. Thank you so much.”
Julie Myles, Gretton School
For many this is their first experience of theatre and, as pantomime is bright, engaging and fun, it gives a solid foundation for children to develop a relationship with the arts. Engagement with the arts can help children improve their core foundation skills by building confidence and widening perspectives. Many schools also use the pantomime story to inform teaching and learning across the curriculum, helping children encounter subjects, such as Science and Mathematics, in exciting contexts.
“Thank you for helping us see Cinderella it was very funny...I enjoyed it...I loved all of it. My favourite character was all of you. You were all funny... I think you did a good job at all of the roles.”
Sam, Castle School
Recipients of last year’s Panto Wheels project included: Special Schools (Granta and Castle), schools in disadvantaged wards (Arbury, Colville and King’s Hedges), children outside mainstream education (Red Balloon and Pilgrim Pupil Referral Unit) and centres/groups who work with Looked-After Children and/or those with life-limiting illnesses (Meldreth Manor and Cambridge Children’s Community Nursing Team).
“I wish to thank you and all at Cambridge Arts Theatre for the wonderful time. Little Jess really enjoyed her time on stage and would have been back on the stage at the end had she not been attached to her ventilator!”
Mags Hirst, Cambridge Children’s Community Nursing Team
Panto Wheels Supporters
TTP Group PLC
Rory Morrison Smith
David and Lorna King