Stars of this year’s pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been spreading festive cheer to youngsters at an Aberdeen hospital.
Lee Mead, who plays Prince Harry, was joined by Alan McHugh, who plays Nurse Nellie MacDuff, Jordan Young, who takes on the role of Muddles, Juliet Cadzow, the panto’s Wicked Queen and cast member Stephen Loriot at Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital (RACH).
The team visited children across the hospital, going through wards and handing out light-up wands and head gear.
As well as playing the pantomime’s dame, Alan has written the annual show for the past 14 years and has played the dame for many of them.
He said: “It’s a privilege, it’s humbling, it’s heartbreaking. It’s a real reality check for how fortunate we are.
“We don’t think we do very much but the staff have assured us it really brightens the kids’ day, even if it’s just the change of a face.
“If we can do that, we’re delighted. Some of these kids are lying in their beds 18 hours a day, so us walking past and handing out silly wands or wearing silly costumes, it just breaks up the day for them.”
Jordan, who plays Alex McAllister in River City, also has a regular role in the panto, having appeared every year for the past decade.
He said: “This time of year, we’re trying to bring what little cheer – or big cheer – we can.
“It’s something a bit different for them as well. It’s always really inspiring, because so many of the kids are in great spirits and raise a laugh from you.
“Some of these kids won’t be home for Christmas and it’s hard for them.
“It’s also quite uplifting, because we’ve been doing this for many years now and sometimes you see the same kids and it’s great when we come back and see they’re not here any more because they’ve got to go home.”
24 Days of Christmas – Click here for special festive deals from some of our favourite local businesses
Heather Beattie, play service manager at RACH, said the visits from the HMT panto stars were one of the highlights of the year.
She added: “It’s become an annual thing so it not only lifts the spirits of the children and the families, but also the staff as well.
“It’s fantastic they can make this time and keep the tradition going.
It’s a very valued tradition at RACH and we greatly, greatly appreciate they do take the time out at this very busy time.
“It just brings a different atmosphere to a very busy ward.
“It lifts the spirits of the families and gives them something to smile for and chat about.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is running at His Majesty’s Theatre, with performances most days, until January 6.