101-Year-Old Kate takes flight as a Cornwall Playhouse record-breakerBlank Mobile 101-Year-Old Kate takes flight as a Cornwall Playhouse record-breakerBlank
101-Year-Old Kate takes flight as a Cornwall Playhouse record-breaker

101-Year-Old Kate takes flight as a Cornwall Playhouse record-breaker

News Details

On Friday 4th August 2023, we hit a Peter Pan themed peak by ‘flying’ the oldest person on our stage - and setting a new record in the process!

After a callout to find the oldest person in Cornwall to fly on our stage, we discovered Kate from Camborne, Cornwall, who was nominated by her granddaughter Kyra. As a WWII RAF plotter, Kate has a true passion for flying. In 2022, she met astronaut Tim Peake during his sell-out appearance at Hall for Cornwall, and in the same year she took flight from RNAS Culdrose in a glider to raise money for charity  ?️

Kate is the oldest person in the UK to fly in wires on stage

When she visited the Cornwall Playhouse, she found lift-off in a whole new way – with a pinch of fairy dust and happy thoughts ✨ Kate Orchard, 101, was connected to stage wires and flew to dizzying heights on the Cornwall Playhouse stage alongside the stars of our 2023 Christmas Show, Peter Pan.

Guided by Flying 1st Class, Kate rose gracefully before gliding across the stage without a care in the world. The support team had prepared for a leisurely flight, but to their surprise and delight, Kate called out to ‘go faster!’ and ‘go higher!’ ?

And in the process, she broke a record by being the oldest person in the UK to fly on a stage in wires ?

A proud Camborne resident and great Grandmother, Kate is a WWII veteran, has met King Charles and attended Westminster Abbey to mark milestone WWII Anniversaries. She recently received a bottle of Royal Champagne from the King to mark her 100th Birthday. She is a regular church goer to Camborne Church and is still running the Scrabble club after 15 years. 

“She is the pinnacle of our family. I know she is my gran, but she is the most inspirational person I have ever met and is always so happy and positive about life with a wicked sense of humour. She is an absolute charmer to anyone that meets her – and it’s been her lifelong ambition to fly!”

-Kyra Orchard.

And there's a granddaughter that should be proud!

Actor Ollie McFarlane, who will play the role of Peter Pan this Christmas, watched on in awe.

‘Kate was such a great sport – she fearlessly flew into the air! I think I could learn a thing or two from her!’

-Ollie McFarlane, Peter Pan

Find out more about Ollie and the cast here.

 “Watching a smiling Kate soar into the air brought us so much joy, and was a reminder to me of the enduring appeal of Peter Pan to all ages – none of us ever really grow up! We’re thrilled that we could sprinkle magic over Kate, it felt like a fitting tribute to her lifetime of heartfelt and meaningful contributions.”

-Julien Boast, Chief Executive and Creative Director at Hall for Cornwall.

Kate was joined by 9-year-old Woody, a brave young boy who received life-saving treatment from Great Ormond Street Hospital. She was so delighted to meet Woody, that she took the opportunity to throw a handful of ‘fairy dust’ over him as they flew side-by-side. 

You can read more about Woody's magical day here.

With the 101-year-old back on terra firma, Julien invited Kate and her family to attend the VIP Press night when Peter Pan opens in December. Kate will have the chance to meet the cast again, and see the show, alongside other special guests.

 This was a truly magical day for us all and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as she sprinkled us all with fairy dust (glitter!) ✨

We are honoured to have met lovely Kate ❤️  What an inspiration!

"Peter Pan" is a Cornwall Playhouse Production, sponsored by First Kernow.

"Peter Pan” is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. On behalf of Samuel French Ltd. www.concordtheatricals.co.uk. 

You can find out more about Peter Pan, starring Edward Rowe (Kernow King) and written/directed by Steve Marmion here: https://www.hallforcornwall.co.uk/whats-on/peter-pan/

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