Hit musical Wicked spread some of its famous magic recently when it joined forces with Starlight Children’s Foundation to grant the wish of one 16-year-old musical fan, arranging for her to not only watch the show, but meet the stars too.
Rebecca Byrom, who has suffered from congenital heart disease since she was a baby and underwent a successful heart transplant in 2011, was referred to the children’s charity, who grant wishes to children with serious and terminal illnesses, by a relative.
Describing herself as a “huge musical theatre fan” and looking forward to a career in the theatre after school and university, Rebecca’s letter to the charity explaining her wish read: “I would really love to see Wicked with Louise Dearman, Gina Beck and Katie Rowley Jones in and go backstage because it is one of my favourite musicals and I would really like to see it with the new cast and see what goes on backstage. Also, because Louise, Gina and Katie are some of my favourite West End stars!”
Starlight and the producers of Wicked arranged all that and more when Rebecca and her mum were transported to and from the Apollo Victoria in style, travelling in a limousine. After watching the show from the stalls, Rebecca was taken backstage to chat to Beck, Rowley Jones and Dearman, completing her dream theatrical experience.
Rebecca, who despite her challenging illness volunteers at the Red Cross and her local nursing home, thanked Starlight for their help in organising her fantasy outing, saying: “It was an amazing experience and one I will never, ever forget. The show was incredible and meeting Louise, Gina and Katie just topped it off, they were so lovely to meet. I have my autograph book and I look at it every night, I even wrote up a list of the best parts of the show… I want to be sure I never forget it! I really don’t know how to thank Starlight enough but it was so amazing and I loved every second!”
The incredible charity aims to brighten the lives of unwell children and, alongside its wish-granting magic, also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. To refer a child for a wish or to make a donation, please go online at www.starlight.org.uk
“It was an amazing experience and one I will never, ever forget… I really don’t know how to thank Starlight enough.”