A huge thanks to young artists from The Clare School in Norwich for their nearly life-size portrait of My First Panto‘s Rapunzel in her tower.

We teamed-up with The Evening News to ask for children’s help to give her hair some extra flair ahead of the show’s opening.

Ten Key Stage 3 students from the school, which caters for children with complex physical and sensory needs, worked on the collage, which stands at nearly 5ft.

Hayley Strivens, their art teacher, said: “We spoke about Rapunzel and all the different ways she’s depicted by books, Disney… They all did a separate little piece of artwork first, then all their ideas went into the big one. Overall it took two hours.

“Our pupils communicate in different ways and loved working on it together, each doing different bits, and couldn’t wait to bring it on the bus with them when they came to see the show.

“We’ve seen Frozen Light Theatre and other performances at The Garage, some of our students have been to your classes. Nothing’s ever a problem and that’s a massive thing for our kids. Everything’s accessible and we’re well supported whenever we come.”

English teacher Hannah Parkinson, who accompanied them on the trip to see Rapunzel, added: “We all had such a wonderful time. All the students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The performers and signer couldn’t have been more accommodating and helpful. We felt very included.”

The competition was won by six-year-old Isla-Rose Emmerson, who brought along her four-year-old sister Ariella, mum Amy and dad Gareth.

The Magdalen Gates Primary School pupil spent more than an hour working on her design. She said: “I thought the flowers looked pretty. It was amazing when I saw her hair, I was really pleased. I enjoyed meeting Rapunzel and the Prince and Dame Gothel.

“We talked about my drawing. Me and my sister enjoyed drawing on the chalk boards, joining in and the shadow puppets. My favourite bit of the panto was when Rapunzel let down her hair. I liked going to the top of her tower.”

My First Panto: Rapunzel is a co-production with All-In Productions. It’s written and directed by Daniel Burgess, with songs and music by Lloyd GormanIt runs until 12 January but tickets are selling fast. Visit our Rapunzel Facebook photo album to see all the designs, including Isla-Rose‘s.

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