Why the “Blue Balloon Trophy” for the PAL Panto of the Year?
If you’re wondering why it’s the Blue Balloon Trophy we all strive hard to win as the Pantomime Alliance Panto of the year here is a little background history:
In 2001 Matt Wesson (our former vice chairman) had the idea to form a local drama group in his home village of Castle Donington.
The ethos of the group was that it should be fun and friendly whilst also supporting the local community and youth.
With the support of friends and family the Blue Balloon Production Company was formed, and in February 2002 they performed their very first panto “Jack & the Beanstalk” to great success. Followed by 3 more in successive years with numerous summer performances including Hits from Broadway, Rock & Roll nights, and Songs through the Decades, altogether these shows raised over £3000 for local and national charities.
In 2002 David Pollard (Our Founder) Invited Blue Balloon to attend the “Salute to Pantomime held at Snibstone Century Theatre. Where all had a great fun filled evening and Blue Balloon decided there and then to become PAL members and in March 2003 they won the “Community Involvement Certificate”. Followed in 2004 by “Best Principle Girl” and “Best Script” in 2005 written by Matt.
Due to a serious Family Illness Blue Balloon took the heartbreaking decision in 2005 to close its doors to performing.
And as at that time Matt was not only the Chairman of Blue Balloon but also a judge and member of the PAL committee. It was decided by the members of Blue Balloon to ask the PAL committee to accept the sponsorship of the Blue Balloon Trophy to be awarded to the Amateur Dramatic Group who are judged as producing and performing the best overall Panto of the Year.
And that’s the brief history of the “Blue Balloon Trophy”.