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Sell-out panto raises more than £8,400 for local charity West Kent Mind 

Beauty and the Beast at the EM Forster Theatre

This year’s production of Beauty and the Beast at the School’s EM Forster Theatre was an outstanding success, beating all box office records, and attracting fantastic reviews from audiences. 

The Wicked Productions show, with a full cast of actors and dancers, achieved its best year yet, welcoming more than 14,400 people through the doors and beating the previous record set last year. 

The EM Forster Theatre and Wicked Productions teams expressed thanks to their loyal and supportive audiences, with people arriving in their thousands through snow, ice and rain to watch a first-class production filled with songs, dancing, laughs and jokes.

Kat Portman Smith, Theatre Manager, said: “Thank you so much to our amazing audiences and the team here for making this the best year yet! The generosity of our audiences throughout the year has been phenomenal, and we know this money will make a real difference to many in our local community through the great work that West Kent Mind do.’ 

Audience reviews included the following:
‘Another year, another brilliant panto at Tonbridge School. My son was in stitches throughout and my daughter loved her first ever panto. They just keep getting better!’ 

‘We had the best time! Fantastic panto! This was our 4th time and def be back in December!’ 

West Kent Mind was the Theatre’s chosen charity this year, and donations were taken through the latter’s website over the course of the year as well as after panto performances by means of bucket collections and contactless donations. An impressive total of more than £8,400 will go directly to support the work of West Kent Mind in the community. 

A West Kent Mind spokesperson added: “As a local mental health charity, we are here to make sure that anyone in our community experiencing a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for support and advice. 

“We rely on the support of our community to help to fund vital services including affordable counselling, social and activity groups, and a range of specialist support programmes. This amazing donation really will make a huge difference helping us to support people with mental health problems in West Kent to get well, stay well and thrive. Thank you!” 

Below, from left: Kate Barnes (West Kent Mind), Kat Portman Smith (EM Forster Theatre), Tom Swift (Wicked Productions) and Louise Griffiths (West Kent Mind).

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