Sussex children's theatre group to perform at Palace of Westminster

Members of a Sussex children’s theatre group have been granted a rare opportunity to perform at the Palace of Westminster next week.


The Hurstpierpoint-based Shine Theatre Group, which includes children with special needs, was originally due to perform at a charity event in the Banqueting House in Whitehall last month.  But when the event was suddenly cancelled, Shine asked local MP Nick Herbert if he could help to find an alternative prestigious venue so that the children would not be disappointed.

Mr Herbert asked the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, if it would be possible for the group to perform at the Palace of Westminster and, very unusually, permission was granted.

The children will perform in the spectacular MPs' building opened in 2001, Portcullis House, at 1 pm on Tuesday 12 December.  28 children, 7 of whom have special needs, will sing ‘Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables and ‘The Circle of Life' from The Lion King.

The group will be introduced by Lucy Griffiths who has been a member of Shine for several years and is currently playing Marian in the BBC's drama Robin Hood.

Nick Herbert said: "I saw Shine perform in Hurstpierpoint last year and thought they were fantastic.  It is wonderful to see the confidence and enjoyment which the shows give to the children, especially those with special needs.

"I was delighted to try and help when Shine told me about the cancellation of their show, and I am very grateful to the Speaker for generously giving the group exceptional permission to perform in the Palace of Westminster."



Notes for Editors

1. Shine Theatre Group was formed in 1997 with 3 members and now has over 140 children between the ages of 5-19 years who participate in dance, drama and singing. It is one of the very few theatre groups in Sussex which is inclusive.

2. Further information about the Shine Theatre Group can be found at Shine's Patrons include actresses Judy Parfitt & Greta Scacchi.

Alexander Black