Panto time at James Cook
All patients at The James Cook University Hospital will be able to watch Newcastle Theatre Royal’s pantomime Dick Whittington for free from their beds this Christmas as the production is screened to their Hospedia TV screens.
The cast has filmed a special performance of the pantomime, which will be screened for free to 170,000 patients across 180 NHS hospitals, including our Middlesbrough hospital on Monday 21 December.
The screenings are the idea of local entrepreneur and Newcastle Theatre Royal Trustee, Howard Tait who said: “When I first got involved at the Theatre Royal I arranged trips for the children in the local hospital to come to see the panto but I soon realised that the sickest children weren’t able to come and were missing out. So I had the idea of bringing the magic of the panto to them instead and the idea just grew and grew.
“It’s wonderful to hear how much the hospital patients, both adults and children, enjoy having the panto to watch and how it brings cheer onto the wards. The screening is totally free of charge to watch and we film it in such a way that those watching get to see close up shots of the actors as well as the general stage view, so it’s a really special show.”
The hospital screening project is a unique collaboration between the NHS, Newcastle Theatre Royal and Hospedia – the national hospital broadcast network. It is free to everyone with a bedside TV and will be shown at 2pm on channel 36, with repeat screenings at 4pm and 6pm.