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Pupils win VIP night at Hazlitt Theatre

By Liz Nicholls

Two young competition winners were given the VIP treatment at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone for a spellbinding performance of the pantomime Cinderella.

Oscar Ford, six, from Thurnham CE Infant School, Elizabeth Bright (Cinderella), Craig Anderson (Buttons), and Molly Simmonds, 11, from Snodland CEP School.
Oscar Ford, six, from Thurnham CE Infant School, Elizabeth Bright (Cinderella), Craig Anderson (Buttons), and Molly Simmonds, 11, from Snodland CEP School.

Eleven year-old Molly Simmonds and Oscar Ford, six, were invited to see the show on press night – and even enjoyed a meet and greet afterwards with the cast. The youngsters brought their families along for a magical evening with the stars.

Molly, a pupil from Snodland CEP School, enjoyed the experience as part of her prize for winning a creative writing competition in the summer term. Entrants were required to write about which superhero they would bring along for the daily walk to school and why. Molly, who chose Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy, also won an action-packed day as the boss of Hazlitt Theatre as her main prize.

Oscar, along with his class from Thurnham CE Infant School in Bearsted, came top in a walk to school challenge staged this term. The children, from Orange Class, all received tickets to Leeds Castle and Oscar was the lucky one to clinch the panto prize.

The competitions were organised by the KM Charity Team who run the walk to school scheme Active Wow and the reading reward scheme Buster’s Book Club.

Both schemes encourage pupils to participate through weekly, monthly, and annual challenges. Prizes include books, tickets to leisure attractions, and storyteller visits by celebrities including Phil Gallagher, presenter of CBeebies’ Mister Maker, and multimillion-selling children’s author and illustrator Nick Butterworth.

Simon Dolby of the KM Charity Team said: “We are delighted to reward children who are making huge efforts whether it’s with their green travel, reading, or writing. And what better reward at this time of year than a VIP trip to see a spectacular show with loved ones? It is an experience they will remember for years to come. I’d like to say a big thank you to the Hazlitt Theatre for providing such a wonderful prize for Molly and Oscar.”

The KM Charity Team’s work is supported by Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Bel UK, Orbit, Kent Libraries, Specsavers, Kent Reliance, Eurostar, Gallagher Aggregates, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Volker Highways, Kent County Council, Medway Council, London Borough of Bexley, Leeds Castle, Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, Whitefriars, Maidstone Borough Council, Ashford Borough Council, Swale Borough Council and Canterbury City Council.

Schools have until December 16 to join Buster’s Book Club and have the scheme in place for the New Year. Visit www.bustersbookclub.co.uk or contact Kathy Beel at kbeel@thekmgroup.co.uk

  • Cinderella, which stars Stefan Booth from EastEnders as Prince Charming and TV legend Rustie Lee as Fairy Godmother, is running at the Hazlitt Theatre until December 31. Visit www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

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