Annie at The Piccadilly Theatre
Spread a Smile took 11 families, a total of 46 guests, to see ‘Annie’ at the Piccadilly Theatre on Saturday 7th October.
It was a wonderful day out: the show was truly spectacular, with amazing performances particularly by the youngsters in the cast. Our guests enjoyed lunch before the show, ice creams during the interval, and then – the icing on the cake – they got to meet the actors playing Daddy Warbucks and Miss Hannigan!
Debbie Holmes, a 13-year-old who is being treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma at UCLH, went with her mum Cheryl. Cheryl said of the afternoon, “It was amazing. The best show we’ve seen so far! Debbie was thrilled. She particularly enjoyed meeting the actors who played Daddy Warbucks and Miss Hannigan after the show. Thank you – you really spoiled us!”
Andrea Hanbury, mum of 6-year-old Keeva who we visit on Lion ward at GOSH, said, “It was so lovely seeing the girls’ eyes twinkle! It was a beautiful show – they enjoyed it thoroughly.” The whole family were invited so Keeva could share the experience with her three sisters. Roisin, Keeva’s sister who loves drama, said she found the young actress playing Annie “really inspiring” and was telling everyone about the show at her drama class the next day!
Twelve year old Amy Foster, who we visit at UCLH where she is receiving chemotherapy, was sadly too ill to see ‘Annie’, but we invited her mum Kathy and her sister Freya to the show. Kathy said, “It was really fantastic. Amy was sadly too ill to go to the theatre on this occasion, but to be able to spend an afternoon with just me and Freya was really special. It isn’t something we get to do very often. ‘Annie’ is Freya’s favourite film so she had the best time. We were so well taken care of by Spread a Smile, from arriving, lunch, ice creams at the interval, meeting the actors afterwards, and goody bags to go home with, it was amazing. We love the theatre but with Amy so ill, we don’t often go as you don’t dare book tickets just in case you have to cancel last minute. Spread a Smile is just one of the best charities!”
We are aware how difficult it is for parents to spend special time with the siblings of seriously ill children, as their schedules are too frequently dominated by hospital treatment. By inviting siblings and parents on the trips we provide the chance for the whole family to experience a joyful occasion together, find a moment of respite and create enduring memories.
Thank you to the wonderful cast of Annie, the staff at Piccadilly Theatre, Ashley Herman of Encore Tickets and our volunteers. What a wonderful afternoon!