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Essington gets ‘fired up’ for pantomime

A community pantomime project that works to bring young and old together in Essington, South Staffordshire, is benefitting from a cash injection.

Housing provider South Staffordshire Housing Association (SSHA) is giving a donation that will help the production of .

Local environmental group, Friends of Essington, is organising the pantomime at St John’s Primary School, with the performance being put together by the Fired Up Theatre Company.

The fourth production to be put on by the trio of community organisations will see three performances; the first on Friday, January 18, and two on Saturday, January 19, 2013.

Colin Richards, treasurer of Friends of Essington, said: “The SSHA grant has made such a difference. We feel very optimistic about this year’s performance and just proves that our pantomime is growing from strength to strength.

“The locals love it. The kids all shout the ‘He’s behind you’ and I’m sure I’ve spotted some of the parents at it as well, although they may say otherwise! It really brings the community together.”

Jan Goode, director of customer services at SSHA, said: “We are delighted that the money will benefit an annual highlight on the calendar for Essington residents. Our support is helping the Fired Up Theatre Company with production costs as well as providing the free refreshments.

“The investment goes even further into the community as money raised by the pantomime goes towards a hedge being developed around the school.”

Stuart Ayres, Head Teacher at St John’s Primary School, said: “St John’s Primary School has a long association with Friends of Essington and has worked alongside the group on a variety of joint ventures.

“The pantomime connection is one such venture which has proved to be successful and we are delighted that this will be repeated this year. We are sure the children will welcome the opportunity to see the pantomime and we expect the demand for tickets to be high once again.

“The show appears to be established on the village calendar and we are always happy to participate in community projects.”

A fan of the annual pantomime is Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, who added: “The production is a great example of local groups working together towards the same goal. Hearing that SSHA has considered this project worthy of a sizeable donation proves the pantomime’s importance within our community.”

Tickets are £5 for adults and £2.50 for concessions and can be purchased from Friends of Essington on 07779 640 456 or St John’s Primary School on 01922 476695.