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Norwich youngsters stage panto in memory of friend

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 January 2011

The three teenagers directing and starring in the panto Aladdin in memory of a friend, Jade Hughes, and in aid of Cancer Research UK and Make a Wish Foundation. From left, Jamie Furness as Aladdin, Georgia Abel as Princess Yasmin and Isobelle Ford as Abanazar.

The three teenagers directing and starring in the panto Aladdin in memory of a friend, Jade Hughes, and in aid of Cancer Research UK and Make a Wish Foundation. From left, Jamie Furness as Aladdin, Georgia Abel as Princess Yasmin and Isobelle Ford as Abanazar.

©Archant Photographic 2010

A group of budding actors are staging their own pantomime performance of Aladdin in memory of their friend who died from a brain tumour.

Jade Hughes died aged seven in 2002 - and now her friends Isobelle Ford, 15, and Georgia Abel, 15, both from Old Catton, are writing and producing the play themselves.

Isobelle and Georgia are now in Year 11 at Sprowston High School but they formerly attended Lodge Lane First School with Jade.

Around 15 people have formed the Lights, Camera, Action group and will take part in the pantomime performance this week, which will be staged at Norwich Puppet Theatre.

Isobelle said: “We started working on the play just before the summer. I want to be an actor but I am interested in production as well.”

The cast have been rehearsing three times a week since the summer at Oak Grove Chapel on Catton Grove Road.

Georgia said: “I am looking forward to the performances but will probably be nervous on the first night.”

All profits from ticket sales will be shared between the Make A Wish Foundation and Cancer Research UK, two charities which helped Jade.

Georgia said: “We want to give something back. We have seen what Make A Wish can do for people and we want to help give other children a chance. Jade was my best friend, we spent a lot of time together at the park. I think she would be proud of what we are doing.

“Make A Wish paid for Jade to go to Disney Land. She was also a princess for the day and had her hair and make up done in London. She looked really happy in those last few days.”

Isobelle said: “We want to raise funds so that Make A Wish can carry on giving terminally-ill children, like Jade, a chance to have their wishes come true. We also want to raise money for Cancer Research to help them continue all the fantastic work they do for those suffering from cancer, and their families.”

Isobelle’s mum, Jo Ford, id: “They wanted to do something in memory of Jade. Isobelle is using something she is excellent at to do good for others.”

Performances are being held at 7.30pm on Thursday and Friday, and 2pm and 7.30pm on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Norwich Puppet Theatre Box office on 01603 629921 or online at www.puppettheatre.co.uk.

Have you organised a fundraising event in memory of someone? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk.

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