What do you do with over 2,000 knitted doughnuts? This was a question we asked ourselves when the final curtain went down on the pantomime earlier this month!
The doughnuts were generously knitted by the local community for the production of The Wizard of Oz, which ran for 55 shows over the festive season, but when the show was over we no longer had a use for them so we asked around for any willing takers.
Amongst those to take up the offer were two local nursery schools – Ridgeway Day Nursery in Richmond and Little Learners Nursery Centre in Scorton. Some doughnuts also winged their way to the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, near Stockton-on-Tees, for their knitted display of the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
“Such a lot of effort had gone into producing all of these beautiful knitted doughnuts that we were adamant that they should find new and loving homes,” said Clare Allen, Theatre Chief Executive and pantomime director. “They were originally created as objects of fun so it is wonderful to see them now being enjoyed by both the nursery school children and visitors to the Saltholme nature reserve. It really is the best form of recycling!”
Both nurseries have been able to use the doughnuts in many different ways to support various learning and recreational activities.
“We are delighted to have all these fantastic doughnuts,” said Julie Stanwix, Manager at Ridgeway Day Nursery. “Some are located in the baby room (pictured) as a sensory experience, and in the pre-school, children have been enjoying matching, counting and sorting colours, as well as incorporating them into role play situations.”
This is the third year that knitted props from the pantomime have found their way to the Saltholme nature reserve. In 2016, hundreds of leaves from Jack and the Beanstalk were used in displays around the site and last year they were added to by apples from Snow White.
Tickets go on public sale on Thursday 1 February for next year's pantomime The Sleeping Beauty, which runs from Friday 7 December 2018 until Sunday 13 January 2019. Tickets from £8 to £22 are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service on this website.