Norfolk children receive special panto treat

Panto stars helped give a festive treat to children from across Norfolk who have lost people dear to them.

Santa Claus swapped his reindeer for a host of limousines to pick up bereaved children for a night out to remember at Norwich's Theatre Royal.

The children are being helped by the Norwich-based charity Nelson's Journey, which supports children and young people who have experienced the death of an important person in their lives, such as a parent, sister or brother.

And they got to see the evening performance of Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Stephen Uppal from Hollyoaks and Joel Beckett from EastEnders.

But the youngsters also enjoyed a special Christmas party and the chance to meet some of the cast of the popular pantomime.

Some of the children are pictured with panto stars at the Theatre Royal.

Staff from Peter Taylor Funeral Services made Saturday night's event possible, through their annual Operation Santa event.

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John Bultitude, of Norwich Theatre Royal, said: 'Christmas is the time of year when we most miss people we have lost.

'These young people are going to find the festive season difficult but the volunteers from Operation Santa and the cast of the panto helped give them an evening packed with smiles and happy memories.'

Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Sunday, January 16. Tickets cost �5 to �19 (free for children under three) and are available from the box office on 01603 630000 or online at

The pantomime is sponsored by Jungle PR. PHOTO: JAMES BASS