Bath Voice News: actors visit young patients and their families at the Children’s Ward in the Royal United Hospital to bring a little panto magic

From Theatre Royal Bath: Stars of the Theatre Royal Bath’s pantomime Sleeping Beauty – Neil McDermott, Jon Monie, Nick Wilton, Sarah Jane Buckley, Emma Norman, David Pendlebury and Maisie Sellwood – met young patients and their families at the Royal United Hospital when they visited the Children’s Ward dressed in their colourful stage costumes.

EastEnders’ and West End star Neil McDermott, who plays Prince Vincent in the pantomime; actor and comedian Jon Monie, who plays Lester the Jester and has also written the panto script; TV and stage actor Nick Wilton who plays Nanny Nora; Sarah Jane Buckley who appears as Fairy Snowfall; Emma Norman who plays Carabosse; David Pendlebury who appears as the King, and Maisie Sellwood, who plays Princess Rose, in the Theatre Royal’s family show, spent time chatting to patients and staff on the Children’s Ward on 20th December before returning to the stage for the matinee performance of Sleeping Beauty.

Neil McDermott, well known on TV for his roles in EastEnders and The Royal, said:

“We really enjoyed visiting the Children’s Ward in our pantomime costumes, everyone at the RUH gave us such a warm welcome. It’s a difficult time of the year to be unwell, especially for youngsters who look forward to the festive season so much. We loved chatting to the children and their parents and hearing about their lives.”

Sarah Jane Buckley, best known for her roles in Hollyoaks and numerous theatre shows, said:

“The Play Specialists have such a vital role in the recovery of the young patients, it was great to meet them and hear about their work on the Ward. The children receiving treatment are truly inspiring. We were thrilled to take some pantomime magic to the Ward, and we’re very grateful to Berkeley Coach and Travel who kindly transported us there in our elaborate stage outfits, making our visit possible.”

The pantomime stars were introduced to patients and their families on the Children’s Ward. The cast were driven to the hospital in a mini-coach generously provided by local company Berkeley Coach and Travel. During their visit the actors handed out goodie bags to the children, supplied by the pantomime’s sponsors Bath-based accountants Moore and Bath Carpets and Flooring.

Jo Powell, RUH Play Specialist, said:

“We’re so grateful to the cast of Sleeping Beauty for visiting the Children’s Ward at the RUH. It was a wonderful early Christmas present for the children who loved meeting them and seeing their fantastic costumes. It’s given our young patients a bit of extra Christmas sparkle while they’re with us.”

Flower power adds Christmas cheer for youngsters at the RUH

Some of the youngest patients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust can now enjoy a bright and festive art installation which is in place in the Children’s Ward garden.

The eye-catching display, which will be in place over Christmas and the New Year, features a number of giant illuminated lilies and Victoria amazonica flower sculptures. More illuminated flowers have been installed in the central courtyard, adjacent to the hospital’s Atrium.

Giant Flowers

They have been generously donated by Jig and Lindsey Cochrane at Frome-based artists studio Jigantics, working alongside the RUH’s in house art and design team, Art at the Heart.

Lindsey proposed the display after visiting the RUH with her son and being impressed with the artwork on show in the garden areas and around the hospital corridors.

Mary McDonagh, Senior Ward Sister, said: “The flowers look fantastic and are a really welcome addition to the Children’s Ward garden. It really helps to brighten up the garden at this time of year and I know that our patients will love the flowers.

“I’d like to thank Jigantics for the stunning display and for the early Christmas present to our young patients.”

Lindsey said: “The Jigantics team is thrilled to be able to share the flowers with everyone at the RUH this winter.

“Flowers have always been symbols of thought, be it love, empathy, celebration or appreciation, a shared unspoken language. Through the giant illuminated blooms we aim to make interventions in familiar places that change the viewer’s perspective and experience of that space, whilst igniting feelings of awe, joy, warmth and unity between them. Ultimately creating windows of shared and memorable happiness.

“We are grateful to all those working in the RUH and wish all the patients well and a happy Christmas.”

For more information about Jigantics go to