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The younger members of some 80 families spread across Fort William, Caol, Corpach and Banavie got a special movie magic Easter surprise at the weekend when a Jedi Knight and Rapunzel from the smash hit Disney film, Tangled, turned up on doorsteps to hand out more than 150 free Easter eggs.
The 10-hour marathon give-away was organised by Talking Teacup Events and saw Fort William duo, Ryan Laskey and Hannah Calder, dressed as the popular big screen characters much to the delight of local children and their families.
‘What an absolutely fantastic day meeting people from all over Fort William, thank you so much to everyone who invited us along and posed for photos,’ Ryan said afterwards.
‘The entire day couldn’t have been possible without A & A Taxis which not only donated 100 eggs but also donated a taxi and a driver for the entire day. Also a huge thank you to Morrisons Fort William Community’s Carrie-Ann Leighton and Paul Campbell for their very generation donations.’
Ryan left Fort William at 18 to study musical theatre in Manchester and went on to spend the following decade performing professionally around the world.
‘After a move back to Fort William, it seemed like the perfect chance to create Talking Teacup Events,’ he explained.
Hannah is another Fort William local who moved back home after finishing her drama degree at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh.
She has performed with Ryan for the last year and will be leaving Fort William once again to study for a Masters degree in Applied Arts. During her studies she worked as a director, actor and producer, and also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Throughout lockdown Talking Teacup Events has been doing everything it can to keep the business in people’s minds by offering free storytime events on Facebook, personalised videos, Zoom calls and even Christmas Eve visits with ‘Elsa from Frozen’, which were very popular.
Ryan told us: ‘People have been so good to us, supporting us and booking us any chance they get. It’s really important to support local business and that’s what the people of Fort William have done, so the Easter Egg giveaway was a chance to give back to the them.’
Ryan hopes that once Covid restrictions are eased he will be able to offer musical theatre classes for children, full theatre productions for high schoolers and job opportunities in the performing arts for those over the age of 16.
He added: ‘At the moment we offer an array of characters from movies, fairytales and books to attend any and all events once restrictions are lifted. In 2021 we’ll be introducing superheroes to our roster. I always like to say – why go to Disneyland when Disneyland can come to you?’