ACTORS FROM community theatre troupe Ladder to the Moon are back with more fantasy-fuelled mayhem for the children’s wards of St George’s Hospital.

The theatre company has been weaving their magic at the Tooting-based Trust for the past two weeks, gathering ideas and stories from children and the staff who care for them to create a wonderfully inventive and imaginative story which they will perform in the hospital over the next three weeks.

The cast will tour the wards, corridors and the rooms of young patients and will follow up their walk-about performances with activity sessions where children will create their own stories and characters.

Ladder to the Moon is well known for its work in hospitals and the effect it has on the recovery of patients, as theatre director Justine de Mierre describes:

“This is the third project we’ve done on the children’s wards at St Georges and we love coming back. We have a great time with the children and the staff are fantastic.”

“We’ve just finished a great week talking to the children on the wards, finding out what they are interested in and working out what characters to create.”

The actors are clearly a hit with parents too, as Maria Dick, whose daughter Jonelle has been at St George’s Hospital for the past week, explains:

“The actors are brilliant and so entertaining for the children.

“They’ve really helped with my daughter’s recovery.”

Hospital matron Mary Owusu agrees that the presence of the actors can be therapeutic:

“Many of the children have serious illnesses which force them to spend a long time in hospital,” says Mary.

“And hospitals, as we all know, are not the most enjoyable places in the world.

“But the children always have a smile on their face whenever the actors pop by and perform.

“It helps them focus on something other than their medical problem and lifts their spirits. I really believe the children are happier and healthier as a result of the actors being here.”

The performances are funded by Awards for All with additional support from Help a London Child, St George’s Arts for the Healing Environment and Tooting Leisure Centre.