Diversity event with a flavour of Christmas is hailed a success

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Sue Shinnick and MP Jackie Doyle-Price with the panto cast

VISITORS to intu Lakeside regional shopping centre enjoyed a colourful celebration of diversity with Thameside Theatre’s Festival of the Arts festival.

The event ran at the shopping centre throughout the day showcasing a wide variety of talent, including local dance and drama groups, circus performers, Bollywood dancers, African drummers, and 1950s trio The Knightingales.

The spectacle was designed to create a day of inclusive entertainment and diverse performances that give people the chance to experience the arts for free in a different environment.

The evening entertainment was opened by Deputy Mayor, Cllr Sue Shinnick, MP Jackie Doyle-Price and intu Centre Director, Howard Oldstein, and was also an opportunity to introduce the performers of this year’s pantomime, Dick Whittington.

The cast, which includes former Love Island and Dancing on Ice star Wes Nelson, were making their first appearance. The cast were very well received and put on a show highlighting what’s to come this Christmas.

Thameside Young Producers showed support for LGBT+ Pride and for people living with two beautifully choreographed pieces and ended the evening with a performance from renowned musical Les Misérables.

Cllr Deborah Huelin, Portfolio Holder for Communities, said “The day was a terrific success. The arts play an important part in our community and bringing people together and Saturday showed how much love and appreciation there is for such events.”