Seagull theatre workshop turns NorseCare workers in to pantomime stars

ON STAGE: Norse Carers Pantomime Rehearsals at Seagull Theatre. Pictures: MICK HOWES. ON STAGE: Norse Carers Pantomime Rehearsals at Seagull Theatre. Pictures: MICK HOWES.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
9:52 AM

Care workers, office staff and managers from NorseCare will be leaving behind their day jobs and taking to the stage for a very special production of Dick Whittington and his Cat.

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ON STAGE: Norse Carers Pantomime Rehearsals at Seagull Theatre. Pictures: MICK HOWES.ON STAGE: Norse Carers Pantomime Rehearsals at Seagull Theatre. Pictures: MICK HOWES.

A team of eight workers are currently in rehearsals for their new pantomime, which will be presented to residents and tenants of the company’s care homes and housing with care schemes.

The budding actors come from all areas of the company, including the Norwich head office, and volunteered to appear in the show.

They took part in a workshop at The Seagull in Pakefield with theatre company Sparkle Productions, which has supplied the script, costumes and props for the performance.

Broadcaster and pantomime actress Helen McDermott, of Sparkle Productions, said: “We provide the script, costumes and give a workshop to teach people how to put on a short pantomime.

“We did it last year and it worked really well.

“The residents that come to see them recognise the actors. It is nice for them to see the people who care for them in a different setting.

“It also good team building for the workers from Norse. A lot of them work in different departments so although they might have spoken over the phone they may not have met.”

NorseCare manages 25 residential homes and 14 housing with care schemes on behalf of Norfolk County Council.

The performance of Dick Whittington and His Cat, about a boy who goes to seek his fortune in London with his cat, follows on from last year’s successful run of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

It will be staged at a number of venues in Norfolk in late April and early May so that as many NorseCare residents as possible can see it.

The performers include care worker Helen King, who is playing Dick’s love interest Alice, Peter Dida from NorseCare’s head office as Dick and training coordinator Jo Howard as the cat.

Regional director Jason Parker will be taking on the role of the pantomime dame for the second time.

Richard Smith, from NorseCare, said: “For us it is a fantastic way for our residents to get to see a pantomime and to see some of the staff that they know from their homes putting on a show for them.

“Activities for our residents are really important. They spend a lot of time at their homes so to offer them the opportunity to go and see a live pantomime is lovely and they have a great day out.”

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