Big role for small schoolgirl in Mundesley play

L/R. Gerry Robins as Captain Throttle Una Laurence as Penelope (Pen).

L/R. Gerry Robins as Captain Throttle Una Laurence as Penelope (Pen). - Credit: Archant

A small leading lady will take to the stage opposite a tall leading man when the Mundesley Players starts its musical comedy run of 'The Pirates of Pen's Aunts'.

Una Laurence, 12, from Cromer, plays the main role of Penelope and stands just 4ft 7in tall.

Yet she holds her ground against her huge and evil nemesis Captain Throttle, played by 6ft 3in Gerry Robbins.

Una, who attends Cromer Academy, was chosen for this pivotal role even though she had never had a speaking part in any play before. She performed as a fairy in her school's production of Peter Pan Junior but was mainly in the background.

To suddenly be thrust into the limelight in an adult production is very daunting, but also exciting.

She said: 'It's really fun. A bit of a change from my first school's nativity play.'

Cheryl Collings, who is directing the production, said that Una was the best choice to play the leading part of Pen.

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'She came over really strongly and positively in the auditions. Una also has a lovely singing voice and, due to her size, was a natural foil against the tall and scary pirate Captain Throttle.

'I think we will see great things from her in the future.'

'The Pirates of Pen's Aunts' is the musical swashbuckling adventures of a young girl who discovers that her two favourite aunts are third generation pirates.

This means that her own mother is of pirate decent. Yet when Pen asks about it, her mother denies it strongly.

Pen and her slightly worried sister Norma set out to find the truth. They sign up to sail as part of the crew of the pirate ship, The Devil's Pea and meet a band of pirates led by the overbearing Captain Throttle.

Plank walking, keel hauling and long distance spitting in the boys' toilets are all part of the rollicking adventure.

Plus no modern pirate show would be complete without a secret treasure map, a near shipwreck and a dead parrot.

'The Pirates of Pen's Aunts' runs for five days at the Coronation Hall, Mundesley from Tuesday, July 25 to Saturday, July 29. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £4 for children and are available from Jupe (fashions) in Station Road, Mundesley.