Spooky comedy makes sick kids smile


Kids are in for a treat as the team at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children prepares for the second performance of Livewire’s self-devised Halloween play.

Livewire is a program at PMH which focuses on distracting teenagers from their treatment through art therapy.

Following a successful opening night on Thursday, the Livewire team anticipates another great show tomorrow (Sunday).

'House on Haunted Hill'

‘House on Haunted Hill’

Children, families and staff will be humoured (and spooked) by ‘House on Haunted Hill’, a play written and performed by staff and volunteers.

‘House on Haunted Hill’ director, Ryan Woosnam, says the play is for anyone who happens to be at the hospital at the time.

“The play offers patients something completely different to their normal hospital routine,” Woosnam says.

“It was just something I wanted to do so the kids could have something to enjoy and look forward to each year.”

Woosnam describes the production as a way of allowing children and families to enjoy a live show, which is something that is normally only done outside the hospital environment.

“We believe tomorrow is going to be chockers,” he says.

“I don’t know how we are going to fit everyone in, but we’ll work it out and make sure everyone has a really good time.”

Luke Statham, 13, who is a patient at the hospital says Thursday was the first time he had seen a live play.

“I didn’t expect it to be like that,” Luke says.

“It was done really well.

“I liked the guy [Mike Allbrook who, in character as Private Investigator, Vic Bridges] talked really weirdly.”

Luke’s mother mentions that the play allows the kids to focus on something other than being in hospital.

“I enjoyed it because it was something these kids don’t get to experience,” Mrs Statham says.

“I saw the ad in the elevator and I thought it would be good for Luke to have that break.”

‘House on Haunted Hill’ actress Helen Kerr says preparations for the play started months ago.

Actress Helen Kerr

Actress Helen Kerr

“The staff in here have been living and breathing this play for several months now,” Mrs Kerr says.

“They really try to involve the patients as much as possible.

“It’s a great thing for them to do and look forward to, so whenever we can involve them we do.”

Thursday’s performance was delayed after popcorn being prepared for the performance was burned, triggering a fire alarm.

The delay meant some patients had to leave early for various time critical treatments.

Tahnee Hardy was among those who missed the end of the play, but says she will be back again for tomorrow’s finale.

“I liked it because it entertains us,” Tahnee says.

“I will be back on Sunday.”


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