Pupils from St. Anne’s Primary School in Rosemount who took on the challenge of Panto in a Day when they wrote and performed Cinderella in association with the Millennium Forum, Arts in Business and the Richmond Centre. Picture Martin McKeown. 10.01.23

On Tuesday 10th and Thursday 12th January, the Millennium Forum challenged two local primary schools to stage sketches of its pantomime ‘Cinderella’ in one school day. Created from ‘page to stage’, they certainly rose to the challenge!  Following the success of the recent Millennium Forum panto, its actors and Wardrobe Mistress worked with St Anne’s PS and the Model Primary School in script, costume and dance to get the children ready for their school stage where they performed the finished piece for other pupils and staff at their school.  Children were facilitated by the comedian Conal Gallen in script writing, choreographer Leigh Chapman, facilitated children in dance, Caitlin Kelly facilitated in singing, and Helen Quigley facilitated children making costumes.

The project was made possible by Arts and Business NI and the Richmond Centre, Derry (Cinderella Show Sponsors).

Cara Mc Cartney, Development and Creative Engagement Manager with the Millennium Forum, said:

“This is another great example of how the arts and businesses can come together to reach into our local school communities.  The support of Richmond Centre and Arts and Business has enabled us to bring professional theatre practitioners to two local schools and engage them in an exciting drama challenge, helping to build local children’s interest the arts and performance.  This is key for the development of future audiences and performers of our theatre. The Children of St Anne’s and The Model PS are already stars in our eyes.  We are very grateful for their support and everyone who made this project happen.”

Bobby Nicholson, Richmond Centre Manager and panto sponsor, added:

“We are delighted to sponsor these workshops, and feel it is an excellent way for us to give something back to local community. Productions can take months to organise and both St Anne’s and the Model schools certainly rose to the challenge to prepare and perform Cinderella in one school day! The Richmond Shopping Centre already has a great history of reaching into the community and we wanted to build on this, particularly after the success of our recent sponsorship of the Forum’s panto, Cinderella.”

Mary Nagele, CEO, Arts and Business NI commented:

“We are thrilled that through the Arts and Business NI Investment Programme, we can help support creative partnerships between the arts and business sectors, to bring projects such as this, which connect with our local communities, to life. The opportunity to see and take part in all aspects of a theatre production, is an amazing learning opportunity and the schools taking part in Millennium Forum’s drama workshops did a fantastic job. We hope it has inspired a new generation with a love of performance and creativity.”

Any business interested in becoming involved with the Millennium Forum should contact the Development Team at partnerships@millenniumforum.co.uk or learning@millenniumforum.co.uk