Brighton production company E3 is delighted to announce that this year’s pantomime Aladdin, running at the Brighton Centre from Thursday 22nd to Tuesday 27th December (excluding Christmas Day), will support nine charities across Sussex and beyond.

Each performance of the pantomime – which features a hugely talented cast including Anita Dobson (BBC’s Eastenders, Frozen, Chicago, Hello Dolly!, Calendar Girls), Mark Inscoe (Evita, Sweeney Todd, Priscilla – Queen of the Desert, Phantom of the Opera, Anything Goes, Funny Girl), alongside BBC Radio Sussex presenter Allison Ferns – will support a different charity.

The charities and the performances in which they are being supported are as follows:

The Focus Foundation

Thursday 22nd December at 7pm

Focus Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Focus Group, a leading UK provider of essential business technology. Through a community of employees, customers and suppliers, Focus Foundation aims to support UK-based charities and social enterprises with a view to making a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives. The foundation’s grants primarily go to charities and community projects that support underprivileged children or young people and mental health initiatives. Although a young charity, it has already made an impact raising almost £180,000 this year, approving grants for 21 charities amounting to over £110,000, and positively affecting the lives of more than 7200 people.

Chestnut Tree House

Friday 23rd December at 11am

Chestnut Tree House is your local children’s hospice. Children with life-limiting conditions and their families are cared for at the hospice building near Arundel and in their own homes across East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire. From helping families make magical memories together, to helping them say goodbye in whatever way feels right for them, Chestnut Tree House is there to support them on every step of their journey. It costs over £4 million every year to provide this care and very little is funded by the government. Families are never charged for care – it is paid for by the support and generosity of the local community.

The Starr Trust

Friday 23rd December at 2pm

The Starr Trust’s mission is to remove roadblocks for young people to help them succeed and thrive in whatever they put their minds to. They do this by supporting individuals and groups with financial grants, sharing connections and encouraging success. The Starr Trust is an independent, family-run charity based in Hove, that believes in a world in which young people are supported to achieve their fullest potential; where they flourish as individuals whilst making a positive contribution to their community and in turn are recognised for their accomplishments.

The Sussex Beacon

Friday 23rd December at 5.30pm

The Sussex Beacon provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV. Services available promote independence and improve health and wellbeing via both inpatient and outpatient resources. The Sussex Beacon’s services are run from a centre in Brighton equipped with a 10-bed inpatient unit, therapy rooms and larger rooms for group work. There is also a landscaped garden for patients and visitors to enjoy all year round. The charity aims to provide high-quality care and support in a friendly and homely environment.

You Raise Me Up

Saturday 24th December at 11am

You Raise Me Up provides emotional and mental health support for families across Sussex, Kent and Outer London after the death of a child aged 16-25. Founded in 2011 by the parents of Megan Brooks who, after her sudden death just days before her 18th birthday, were unable to find the support they needed. The charity provides support, guidance and advice when families need it most and can say “we totally understand” and “you are not alone” at a time when the world is upside down and at its worse. Its Helpline, counselling service, support groups and support centre are provided by others with the shared lived experience of the loss of a young adult.

Chailey Heritage Foundation

Saturday 24th December at 2pm

For over 120 years, Chailey Heritage Foundation has been redefining care and education for those with physical disabilities, challenging perceptions and breaking barriers. The charity now stands at the leading edge of pioneering approaches and technologies to empower and enrich every young person’s life so they can learn, enjoy new experiences and live amazing lives, every day. Chailey Heritage Foundation provides education, residential care and outreach services to young people with complex neurodisabilites and health needs. Its modern and vibrant Leisure and Skills Centre also provides a range of activities for members of the community aged 16+ with a physical and/or learning disability.

The Sue Addis Memorial Fund

Saturday 24th December at 5.30pm AND Monday 26th December at 2pm

Sue Addis was a pioneering figure in the Brighton and Hove business community. She supported many charities and raised funds for a wide range of causes. As a trustee of the Argus Appeal, she believed that small local charities could make a big difference in people’s lives. When the Argus Appeal Charity closed down, Sue and the trustees asked Sussex Community Foundation to continue their legacy. Today, The Sue Addis Memorial Fund at the Sussex Community Foundation continues Sue’s amazing work, supporting small local charities, especially those that address mental health and domestic violence – two causes that Sue cared deeply about.

Raystede

Tuesday 27th December at 2pm

Raystede is celebrating 70 years of caring for animals. Since the late Miss M. Raymonde-Hawkins founded Raystede from her cottage in 1952, the charity has worked to alleviate animal cruelty, rescue, rehabilitate, rehome and provide sanctuary for animals in need. Today it is one of the most diverse rescue centres in the UK because it cares for so many different species of animals, with its staff, volunteers, and supporters helping more than 1,200 vulnerable animals each year from its 43-acre site. The charity also pledges to make the future better for animals through its education programmes and activities.

Wolo

Tuesday 27th December at 5.30pm

Wolo Foundation (WOLO stands for ‘We Only Live Once’) was founded in 2020 and helps to improve the quality of life of families in Sussex affected by cancer through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. We support the whole family, not just those diagnosed, and provide regular family events to reduce isolation and loneliness. We also offer practical help, opportunities to improve mental health and overall wellness, and encourage everyone to live their best lives. #weonlyliveonce #wolo

David Hill, Producer and Director of Aladdin at The Brighton Centre, commented:

“As a Brighton-based production company, that is hugely involved in the local community, we wanted to do everything in our power to expand our help and support local causes across the county. This charity initiative will see us actively encouraging donations from the audience at each performance.

“We fully appreciate that times are tough for everyone at the moment, so our charity partners need our help now more than ever. I sincerely hope through our pantomime we can play a small part in further raising each charity’s profile and aid with providing much-needed funds so they can continue the important work they do across Sussex and beyond.

Christmas panto favourite Aladdin incorporates plenty of spectacular elements including jaw-dropping sets, dazzling costumes and magical special effects. The show follows the magical tale of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine as they embark on their love story. In true panto tradition, this one is packed full of hilarious comedy capers from Aladdin’s brother, Wishee Washee, and their eccentric but much-loved mother, Widow Twankey – possibly the funniest Dame in the land!

To book a magic carpet ride to Old Peking, and secure the best seats in the house for Brighton’s biggest festive family adventure, visit www.brightoncentre.co.uk. Tickets are priced from £15 – £35. Watch out for the Super Soakers!