THE cast of the pantomime Sleeping Beauty have visited a children’s ward to brighten spirits ahead of the festive period.

The stars of Darlington Civic Theatre’s panto went to the children’s ward at Darlington Memorial Hospital in full costume to speak to the children and hand out selection boxes.

Princess Beauty, played by Pop Idol runner-up Zoe Birkett, was on hand to deliver gifts donated by Morrisons supermarket, helped by Prince William, played by Will Tudor, and King Stephan, also known as magician Philip Hitchcock.

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The children were also kept entertained by comedian Andy Jones, who plays the hapless Muddles.

The pantomime, which also stars Linda Lusardi and Sam Kane, is on at Darlington Civic Theatre until Sunday, January 20.

Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01325-486555 or visiting darlingtonarts.co.uk