Faced with the temporary closure of the theatre and the cancellation of its annual pantomime, Blackwood Miners’ Institute turned to community arts organisation, Head4Arts to come up with a novel solution – a DIY Panto Kit, as an offering to some local families who missed their usual Christmas treat in 2020.
Ever since lockdown, Head4Arts has been busy working with a team of freelance artists to deliver nearly 3,000 Doorstep Craft packs to support households struggling with lockdown. For this latest challenge they commissioned artist Cindy Ward, to design a pack containing everything needed to construct a mini-theatre, complete with a cast of popular pantomime characters and materials for costumes.
Head4Arts Creative Director Kate Strudwick said, “Our aim is to inspire people to be really creative in writing and performing their own pantomime. We hope there will be dressing up, cheesy jokes and lots of festive fun for all the family, so it will be in keeping with the spirit of panto – even if they couldn’t attend one last year”.
Marina Newth, Caerphilly Council’s Theatre and Arts Services Manager added, “This is a great example of a partnership project, working together to find an inventive way of demonstrating our commitment to connecting with communities during this difficult period. We are all looking forward to opening our doors to the public again this year and hopefully 2021 will see us back in full panto mode. Oh yes it will!”
The limited edition DIY Panto Kits are being distributed to some lucky households in the County Borough via Caerphilly Parent Network; there will a prize of a family ticket to the next live panto for the best video we receive of a home-made performance.
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