The Wellingborough Pantomime Society takes on Sleeping Beauty for their 51st Panto from Wednesday 17th January at The Castle Theatre, featuring a local cast of over 80 performers. We’ve managed to grab some of the cast for a quick chat between rehearsals…
Wellingborough Pantomime Society has a real mix of regular members and newcomers – is this the first time you’ve performed with the group?
Amelia Litchfield (playing Sleeping Beauty): Yes, this is my first panto and in fact my first proper show which is very exciting! I’m so happy to have been cast in the lead role as Princess Aurora as there are so many talented and experienced people on board who are so lovely to work with and I’m learning something from each and every one of them every rehearsal.
Ashleigh Hammond (playing Maleficent): It’s my first show with this society but my 12th pantomime! I always took part in Kettering’s youth theatre groups pantomime, although I’ve never played the baddie before, very excited to give it a go!
David Wicks (playing Nurse Nelly): No, I have been performing in panto with this society for many years now…
We hear it’s your 37th panto David – What’s been your favourite production so far?
David: My favourite pantomime with the society had been Mother Goose, one of the oldest pantomime tales that dates back a couple hundred years.
Tell us your favourite thing about your character?
Amelia: Aurora is a princess but she’s very strong and independent, she’s not waiting around for her prince – she’s out finding him.
Ashleigh: Maleficent has always been my favourite Disney villain, she’s misunderstood and glamorous but wicked!
David: Being able to talk and interact with the audience, more so than any other character.
Without giving too much away, can you tell us your favourite line from the show?
Amelia: Don’t cry for me Marge and Tina…
Ashleigh: haaaaaaaowow ahhhhh
David: HELLO BOYS & GIRLS!
We also cornered Assistant Director Spencer Barlow to see how rehearsals have been going…
Have you been involved with many Pantos before?
Spencer: I’ve been involved with pantomime for 25 years, and my year is just not the same without it. The magic of Panto has been around the 16th century and derives from Italian travelling shows called Commedia dell’arte. I truly hope that pantomime stays around for centuries to come!
What’s it been like working with such a large cast?
Spencer: Working with such a large cast isn’t without its challenges, but every single member of the cast from the smallest to the tallest are amazing! Each person shows the utmost professionalism and they all reek talent.
What’s your favourite panto tradition?
Spencer: Pantomime wouldn’t be the same without a man dressing up as the dame, a young lady in fishnets as principle boy and of course the traditional baddy. To see all of these… and more; book your tickets now!
What’s been the best moment in rehearsals?
Spencer: There have been so many funny moments in rehearsals, but I don’t want to give too much away, you’ll have to come and watch to find out more!
You can catch Sleeping Beauty at Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, on Wednesday 17th to Saturday 20th January at 7.30pm with matinees on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January at 2.30pm. Tickets are available online, via box office on 01933 270 007 or in person at the theatre.