A wonderful time was had by all at the Winter Lodge last night when the panto stars from the Kings came to perform at the Queens Hotel in aid of local charity, Spark Community Space.
Former Eastenders star Shaun Williamson and James ‘Arg’ Argent from TOWIE fame really hit the right note with the appreciative audience. The pair are currently headlining the critically acclaimed Hook pantomime at the Kings Theatre.
And there was an opportunity for other cast members to shine as they performed favourite songs, with Pompey panto favourite Jack Edwards being compere on the night.
The evening came to a close with a rousing sing-a-long featuring much loved Christmas songs with all the cast taking part.
More than £5,000 was raised for the Spark Community Centre with Arg donating £1,500 to match the amount raised from ticket sales, prompting the Kings Theatre to pledge a further £500, which was also matched by the Queens Hotel.
General Manager at the Queens Hotel, Paul Playford, said: “This was such a brilliant evening and everyone enjoyed seeing the stars and cast of Hook singing some Christmas classics.
“It is the first Kings at the Queens event that we’ve hosted and we hope it will be the first of many future collaborations,” he said.
Shaun and the rest of the cast were delighted when they heard about the plans to bring a bit of Christmas magic to the Winter Lodge.
Shaun explained: “We thought it was a brilliant idea and we loved the fact we were helping to raise funds for such a good local cause.
“It was a chance to make some new friends in Southsea and to have a good ol’ seasonal sing-song.”
Becki Simmons, founder trustee of Spark Community Space, said: “I was completely overwhelmed when I was told this evening was going to be in aid of Spark Community Space.
“We’ve all had a wonderful time and I can’t thank the cast members and the team at the Queens Hotel enough.”
Spark Community Space is a local charity working to reach those who have been left out or left behind, to give people a place to belong, to be part of a community of support, to heal together and to spark back into life.
A golden ticket was available to win on the night and the lucky winner received a family ticket to see Hook and a voucher for afternoon tea at the Queens.
General Manager Paul Playford added: “We have been working hard behind the scenes for some time to be able to make ‘Kings at the Queens’ a reality and we are so excited that it has finally happened.
“It is the perfect pairing and we are delighted that Sparks Community Space benefitted from this evening of fun and music.”
We hope this will just be the start of many joint ventures between the Kings and the Queens.
“There is a real synergy between us and we are looking for more opportunities to bring the theatre stars to the Queens for special performances,“ said Mr Playford.
13th December 2023