Helmdon Bridge Players are having a ball with Cinderella

This week, Helmdon Bridge Players present Cinderella – their 30th anniversary panto.


We’ve spoken to a few of the cast members to find out what they love about performing pantomime with the group.

Beth Gordon – Prince Charming

“I have been involved in panto since I was 8 years old! 12 years later and I still love it as much as when I first performed. I have gone from being an FBI agent, the ‘White Rabbit’ in Alice and Wonderland, an Italian baddie and occasionally they let me play as a girl (although very occasionally!)

This is my second pantomime performing Cinderella and it has to be one of my favourites. I love the traditional pantomimes but we definitely always don’t do things the traditional way!

It’s a great way for the village to come together and we always have a good laugh. And as it’s a special 30th anniversary performance, it would be rude not to come along wouldn’t it?”

Cinderella (Fliss O’Connell), Ugly Sister Beryl (Robert Duncombe), Prince Charming (Beth Gordon) Ugly Sister Cheryl (Huw Davies), Dandini (Jo Ezzy)

Cheryl (Huw Davies), Buttons (Becky Leitelmayer) and Beryl (Robert Duncombe) – lost in the wild woods on their way home from the ball.

Robert Duncombe – Beryl – Ugly Sister

This year I have the privilege of playing Beryl, the better looking of the two ugly sisters in Cinderella. I have been a member of Helmdon Bridge Players for over 10 years and in that time have taken on many different roles.

I started off with the Bridge Players on stage and due to school commitments I decided to take on a role backstage. After a few performances doing lights and sound I decided to direct my first pantomime Dick Whittington at the age of 18, making me the youngest director of The Bridge Players. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had and enjoyed every moment of it. I would recommend it to anyone! – who doesn’t mind a bit of stress and long hours looking at the same script for a few months along the way.

I was previously in the 20th anniversary performance of Cinderella, at the age of 10. With this year being 30 years, I decided I wanted to appear on stage again and when the group decided to do Cinderella again I knew one of the Ugly Sisters was a part I wanted to audition for! It’s a great comedy part, has some great costumes and some interesting props! Alongside this, you’re one of the baddies too and that sums the part up! Cinderella is a performance not to miss, for a group to be going 30 years is a great achievement and we look forward to another 30.

The best thing about the Bridge Players is everyone has a go at everything! We all take it in turns whether it be on stage or off stage. We may be a small performing group, but for a small amateur group we have some serious talent coming though and over the years have built up to a well-established little performing arts group, providing a great evening for all. Each year our pantomime gets bigger and better and this year shows that too! Get your tickets now and we look forward to seeing you soon.


Huw Davies – Cheryl – Ugly Sister

Hi, I’m Huw and I’m an Ugly Sister in Cinderella. In real life I’m not a sister!

I first got involved in the Helmdon village panto as my son was in it and wanted me to join in too. Being a caring dad I went with it and next thing I knew I was wearing a pair of uncomfortably tight, sparkly purple hot pants and on stage as an Elvis singing super hero (not your usual panto character).

Something about it stuck (possibly the hot pants) and I’ve been back every year since. It’s about as different from the day job as you can get, a lot of fun and it’s great to see the whole village get together, laugh together and get on join in the stupidity. And this years is set to be one of the best as it’s 30 years since the first. So head to Helmdon!


Bryony Hart – Baroness Hardup

I have had the pleasure and privilege to be a member of the Helmdon Bridge Players for the 30 years that we have been around. In this time I have played a plethora of parts; from lead boy, lead girl, the not so clever duo and all manor of wickedness! I think even once I have been the front end of the horse. I have pretty much covered most aspects of a production including directing.

Cinderella has to be my favourite It was my first ever pantomime and I have been in all of our Anniversary productions of it since.

Why should people come? It’s simple really… the entertainment, the talent on stage and the comedic value. It’s a great evening out supporting a small amateur dramatics group with so much talent, both young and not so young!


Rachel Marland – Bear

” I’m a bear. I’m a bear in Cinderella. That’s different! Last year I was a speaking wall. Next year maybe I’ll play a human bean! The best thing about panto is that everyone in it and watching it wants to have the best fun. It’s hugely uplifting, good for the mind and soul regardless of your age and anything goes, even a bear. And that’s good enough reason to come and see it! Can’t bear to wait, so excited!”


You can catch Cinderella at Helmdon School Hall NN13 5QT from 6 – 8 December 2018

Tickets: Adults £8, Children £5, Family Tickets £22 – call 01295 760362