The Pantomime Project

The Pantomime Project
29 Dec 2017
A special performance of Jack and the Beanstalk was sponsored for disabled, sick and disadvantaged children by Oxfordshire Freemasons at the Playhouse Theatre Oxford on Thursday 14th December 2017. With over 400 of our special guests attending along with their parents and carers, meant that all 598 seats at the theatre were allocated.
   On behalf of the Provincial Grand Master, W.Bro. Alan Meech invited some of Oxfordshire's Civic Leaders to join us for a buffet lunch and to watch the pantomime. The guests were formally welcomed by R.W.Bro. James Hilditch, PGM, V.W.Bro. Neal Spencer, DPGM, W.Bro. Graham Ellis, APGM, W.Bro. Michael Smail, PrJGW and W.Bro. Andrew Keech, Provincial Charity Steward. The guests were informed about the Pantomime Project and Freemasons other charitable works in and around Oxfordshire.
(Top Left to Bottom Right): John Howell, MP for Henley and James Hilditch, PGM; Councillor Zoé Parick and Neal Spencer, DPGM; Councillor Imran Lokhon and Andrew Keech; Councillor Norman McRae, MBE, Neal Spencer, DPGM and Mrs McRae; Michael Smail, Mrs Tysoe and Mike Tysoe, Mayor of Chipping Norton; Mrs Mary Sibley, Andrew Keech and Les Sibley, Mayor of Bicester Town
Video Clip from BBC South Today
Video clip courtesy of BBC South Today
R.W.Bro. James Hilditch, PGM was interviewed about the purpose and work of the Oxfordshire Masonic Pantomime Project by David Lumb of BBC South Today.
   The interview was broadcast on the early evening edition of the BBC South News on Thursday 14th December 2017.
On arriving at the Oxford Playhouse Theatre the Children were welcomed by the Pantomime Dames and their helpers.
   Each child received a glow stick necklace, sweets, ice cream during the interval and a goodie bag when they left the theatre.
The Provincial Grand Master R.W.Bro. James Hilditch took to the stage to welcome all the children and their guardians and hoped they enjoyed Jack and the Beanstalk.
  Our army of Santa's helpers dressed in bright red fleeces assisted in looking after the children and ensuring all the questions and queries were smoothed out.
The Pantomime Committee: Graham Ellis, Roger Hampshire and Brian McDonald would like to thank all those who helped to make this a special day for all the children. Organising this afternoon's Pantomime costs £7K but is money well spent as we entertained all those children and promoted the charitable side of our organisation to many people.
Special thanks are due to:
The Brethren and Lodges for their support for the project with their donations throughout the year.
Margaret McDonald for assisting Brian with sending out all the invitations.
The staff at the Playhouse Theatre, Oxford.
The "Red-Top Team" of willing helpers who assisted on the day with seating the children,
filling goodie bags and much more.
Barry Callebaut, for donating bags of chocolate buttons for every child. Betty Nelmes wardrobe mistress.
Gita Konschak for making the dames look glamorous.
Michael Pacey for photography and designing this report.

Oxfordshire Freemasons Pantomime Project
Oxfordshire Freemasons Pantomime Project from Andy Proper on Vimeo.

Action for Children – Henley-on-ThamesJohn Radcliffe Children's Hospital
Alexander Devine Hospice – HenleyJohn Watson School – Wheatley
Bardwell School – BicesterKids Cancer Charity
Barnado's Short Breaks – BicesterKingfisher School – Cumnor
Barnardo's – OxfordMabel Pritchard School – Oxford
Bishopswood School – SonningMeadowbrook College – Oxford
Burford School – BurfordNorthfield School – Blackbird Leys
Clear Sky – Blackbird LeysPace Centre – Aylesbury
Clic Sargent – OxfordPathway – Blackbird Leys
Fitzwarren Special School – WantageRainbow Children's Centre & Nomad – Henley-on-Thames
Flexicare – AbingdonSchools throughout Oxfordshire
Florence Nightingale Children's HospiceSpringfield School – Witney
Footsteps Foundation – Dorchester-on-ThamesSwings and Smiles
Frank Wise School – BanburySycamore Resource Centre – Banbury
Glory Farm School – BicesterWitney Rugby Club (Special Needs Team)
Hardwick School – BanburyVariety
Helen and Douglas House Hospice – OxfordWoodeaton School – Woodeaton
and Individual Families
Isis Academy – Rose Hill
Special thanks goes to all the Oxfordshire Freemasons who gave up their time to dress up as Pantomime Dames and welcome the children and their carers to the Pantomime, Trevor Ballinger, Ron Bridger, Yanto Evans, Barclay Lawrence, Martin Hampshire, Paul Hurd, Paul Kiefer, Paul Kyberd, Nik Lester, Steve Pope, Steve Sahonta, Kevin Tomes, Chris Wagstaff, also Bruce Barrett (Elf and Safety Officer) and Bill Butcher (Father Christmas). All the brethren worked very hard to ensure that every child attending was made to feel special and have a memorable day.
The Pantomime Project is in need of funds for the 2018 Pantomime. If you are interested in helping with the fund raising or joining the Pantomime Project Lottery, Email:
The Pantomime Project
Dec 2016
"The Pantomime Project" arranges a special performance of Zippos Circus
Apr 2016
The Pantomime Project
Dec 2015
Christmas Treat for Oxfordshire's Disabled and Disadvantaged Children
Dec 2014
The Pantomime Project
Dec 2013