Sleeping Beauty— 11/12 & 18/19 March 2022 in Headley Village Hall

The Poster – ProgrammePress

The magnificant Palace Ballroom set created by Cavan & Loretta Syrad

Photos of the First Dress Rehearsal (by Angus McKay)

This show had been scheduled for January, but was moved on to March in order to avoid problems with the pandemic. Even so, we had two members of the cast isolating for the first Dress Rehearsal (Rufus Kendall and Kathryn Witts – the director read in for both) and we weren't at all sure at this point whether we'd get to perform it at all … but we did – see First Night

Mel White as Sir Rowan

Rajula Jasani in the Chorus

Jonathan Neil as Belladonna

Karina Farnlucher as Queen Matilda

Annaliese Farnlucher as her daughter, Princess Rose

Abby Hibberd as Marigold, with Princess Rose

Dil Williamson-Smith as Fairy Lilac

Violet the Elf

Benjamin the Chancellor (Nick Webb) lays down the law to the Chorus

King Harold (Martin Wellen), the Queen, Benjamin and The Herald (Neil Hardinge) with the chorus

The chorus, now workers in Belladonna's workshop

The dirty deed is done! Princess Rose lies comatose …

… and Fairy Lilac puts the whole palace to sleep for 100 years. There will now be a short intermission.

Sir Rowan and Belladonna have a confrontation

The author/director (Jo Smith) in good voice as he stands in for Prince Rufus, on his way to confront the confounded brambles

The famous "Summer Nights" movement: ladies go left and gents go right

The chorus preparing us for the Walkdown …

… and the Herald even more so …

… but he goes on for too long, and has to be removed by the Stage manager (Chris Millard)

The King and Queen in their finery are ready …

… and the Walkdown happens. Ready for the real show on Friday!

Photos from the First Night (taken on a pocket camera by Jo Smith from the lighting desk)

The diminished chorus (two missing) in "Beyond the Blue Horizon"
L to R: Anne Flanagan, Maggie Farnlucher, Elizabeth Heggart, Shirley Wellen

Benjamin (Nick Webb) and Constance (Rufus Kendal) need to check the invitations

Belladonna, the Bad Fairy (Jonathan Neil) making threats: "Why was I not invited?"

Gerald the Herald (Neil Hardinge) makes one of his many grand entrances

King Harold (Martin Wellen), Queen Matilda (Karina Farnlucher), Benjamin and Constance discuss Belladonna's threat: "He looked like he meant it"

Fairy Lilac (Dil Williamson-Smith) enters: "He did mean it!"

The chorus in "Baby Face"

Sixteen years later, Princess Rose (Annaliese Farnlucher) isn't a baby face any more

Marigold (Abby Hibberd) joins Rose for "High-Heeled Sneakers" …

… and Constance joins in the fun

At the end of it all, everyone on stage sings "I've Got Rhythm" – in pantomime, that's how it goes!

Sir Rowan (Mel White) and Prince Rufus (Kathryn Witts) approach the palace …

… which always requires a bit of song and dance!

Belladonna is back – in his secret workshop …

… and the princess approaches the dreaded spinning wheel!

The Prince & Sir Rowan ask villagers the way to the palace

Fairy Lilac and her cheeky assistant Fairy Violet get in on the act

A separation of the sexes in "Summer Nights"

… and that's all the little old camera would do – but it's a record of sorts.

To continue the story: On the next day (Sat 12) we had two of the chorus and two principals away with Covid – missing chorus lines were read from offstage, the front of house manager (who was already deputising for the Stage Manager) read in for the Herald, and the Director (who was already deputising on the lighting board) read in for Sir Rowan. However, one of our regular customers said afterwards that it was the best show he'd seen us do – which does rather make you wonder why we rehearse for so long if an 'improv' production is judged to be our best!! But we're not complaining.

And to continue the story … on the second weekend we ran with just three parts being read in: one principal (read in with gusto by the real Stage manager) and two chorus. All in all, we feel we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and our audiences were very supportive. But it was a weary cast who celebrated after the last performance!

Our thanks to Jo Levy – consistent, as ever, on the old johanna.

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