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Excitement builds ahead of Norfolk village’s milestone pantomime

PUBLISHED: 10:10 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:10 23 January 2018

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Anne Bettany, who is the prompter in the panto, and who is the mum of film actor Paul Bettany. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Anne Bettany, who is the prompter in the panto, and who is the mum of film actor Paul Bettany. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Excitement is building ahead of next month’s Aldborough pantomime - the 25th the north Norfolk village has run.

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Fairy godmother, Lesley Hennessey with Tommy the dog. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Fairy godmother, Lesley Hennessey with Tommy the dog. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Rehearsals are in full swing for the production of Sleeping Beauty which will be the first of Aldborough’s pantos to feature a cutting edge multimedia set-up.

Jane Maguire, spokeswoman, said: “It’s enormously exciting, not the least because we’ve got this brilliant new technology installed in the community centre - a very large electronic screen and a brand new projector.

“For Sleeping Beauty, we’re looking at portraying the passage of 100 years by showing former players, and people that were in it from the beginning, and well as old photographs from around the village.

“That’s going to be made into an old sepia film.”

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Work carries on through rehearsals making props. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Work carries on through rehearsals making props. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Maguire said the panto, which is produced each year by the Aldborough Players, would also feature a number of ‘veteran’ panto cast members, as well as youngsters from the village.

MORE: 25th panto celebration for Aldborough Players in north Norfolk

She said: “We’ve enticed back some of the people who were in it from the start who haven’t been in it for a few years, and we always have a few children.

“Our age range is something like eight to 80.”

Since its launch in 1993, the Aldborough panto has featured 335 songs and pieces of music - of which only 14 have been used twice - in a total of 89 performances.

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Five of the original members of the Players, from left, Elaine and Ron Hayton, Lesley Hennessey with Tommy the dog actor, Richard Leeds, and Jane Maguire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Five of the original members of the Players, from left, Elaine and Ron Hayton, Lesley Hennessey with Tommy the dog actor, Richard Leeds, and Jane Maguire. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Each year 50 to 60 people are involved, and that has included 33 families of three or more members. There have been six summer productions, one marriage between two of the players and only one occasion where a stand-in was needed at the last minute.

Ms Maguire said: “Happily there seems to be no lack of people willing to get involved in all capacities and at present we have an encouraging number of younger people.

“It has always been astonishing to discover how much talent there is in the village, with considerable professional input as well as that from talented amateurs.

“Let us hope that our audiences continue to enjoy our efforts as much as we do.”

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. A family affair as Lewis Winnett is the young gardener, and his dad Jon, the adult gardener, and mum Hayley plays the keyboard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. A family affair as Lewis Winnett is the young gardener, and his dad Jon, the adult gardener, and mum Hayley plays the keyboard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The panto is on February 7, 8 and 9, at 7.30pm, and February 10, at 6.30pm, at Aldborough Community Centre.

Tickets are available from Aldborough’s village shop and post office.

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. The three Princess Auroras, played by Beth Wedge-Clarke, front, Courtney Nichols, right, and Sally Coleman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. The three Princess Auroras, played by Beth Wedge-Clarke, front, Courtney Nichols, right, and Sally Coleman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Evil Malevola, left, played by Kat Tindall, with her henchmen, Crawlie, played by Aubrey Lilley, and Creepy, Francesca Nichols. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Evil Malevola, left, played by Kat Tindall, with her henchmen, Crawlie, played by Aubrey Lilley, and Creepy, Francesca Nichols. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Evil Malevola, left, played by Kat Tindall, with her henchmen, Crawlie, played by Aubrey Lilley, and Creepy, Francesca Nichols. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Aldborough Players working on their panto Sleeping Beauty, as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Evil Malevola, left, played by Kat Tindall, with her henchmen, Crawlie, played by Aubrey Lilley, and Creepy, Francesca Nichols. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


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