HATS Drama Group awaken with family pantomime Sleeping Beauty in Meppershall

Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson) falls asleep after pricking her finger on the spinning wheel in Sleeping Beauty.

Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson) falls asleep after pricking her finger on the spinning wheel in The Sleeping Beauty. - Credit: HATS Drama Group

Sleeping Beauty is awakening after 100 years of slumber – and a couple of years of COVID restrictions!

Members of HATS Drama Group are busy rehearsing for a traditional family pantomime in Meppershall.

After an enforced stupor due to the wicked spell cast by her nemesis, Carabosse, Sleeping Beauty is awakening.

“It’s a bit like coming out of ‘lockdown’," says Linda Winfield, chair of HATS Drama Group, who are soon to perform again at Meppershall Village Hall after being forced to cancel their spring 2020 production during the middle of rehearsals in March last year.

“It’s great to be back on stage again after such a long break and we are looking forward to performing our panto to full houses at the end of January,” added Linda, who is playing the wicked Carabosse.

Fairy Azuriel (Sue Bridger) with Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson) and Carabosse (Linda Winfield) in Sleeping Beauty

Fairy Azuriel (Sue Bridger) with Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson) and Carabosse (Linda Winfield) rehearsing for HATS Drama Group's pantomime The Sleeping Beauty. - Credit: HATS Drama Group

Her opposite number, the Good Fairy Azuriel, is played by Sue Bridger. Princess Aurora will be played by Carly Jackson.

Also looking forward to her HATS debut is Cat Surtees, who plays Prince Valiant, a traditional Principal Boy, while James Ward is again in his element as Dame Ammonia Goodbody.

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Barney Shergold is guesting as the court jester, Tickles, and veterans Liz Stevens and Keith Lander play the King and Queen of Entertainia.

HATS are very happy to be back at Meppershall having previously moved all their equipment from the now redundant Henlow Theatre and converting the Oak Hall into a well-equipped theatre space.

The Sleeping Beauty is written by Norman Robbins and directed by Bridgette Whittaker.

In the panto, Tickles is travelling in his home-made time machine to avoid spending 100 years in slumbering isolation.

Journeying with him, and a few courtiers from King Cedric’s palace, is Dame Goodbody.

Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson), Carabosse (Linda Winfield) and Prince Valiant (Cat Surtees) in The Sleeping Beauty.

Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson), Carabosse (Linda Winfield) and Prince Valiant (Cat Surtees) in The Sleeping Beauty. - Credit: HATS Drama Group

Whilst the King, the Queen and the Lord Chamberlain, played by Keith Lander, Liz Stevens, and Steph Allen respectively, are all still asleep they bump into the mysterious Prince Valiant.

The Prince is searching for the beautiful Princess Aurora (Carly Jackson), hoping to awaken her with the traditional kiss.

However, the Princess is recaptured by the wicked fairy Carabosse (Linda Winfield), requiring all the powers of the good fairy and her little assistants to win the day.

All will be revealed at Meppershall Village Hall, in Walnut Tree Way, on Friday, January 21.

Performance are then on Sunday, January 23, Friday, January 28, Saturday, January 29, and Sunday, January 30.

Tickets for the panto are priced £12 for adults and £7 for children. They are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/hats-drama.