Jen's eye view - behind the scenes at this year's Courtyard panto

Hereford Times: Jen's eye view - behind the scenes at this year's Courtyard panto Jen's eye view - behind the scenes at this year's Courtyard panto

By Jennifer Booton

CINDERELLA opened last week to an invited audience including the Mayor of Hereford, Courtyard patrons, charity partners, Business Club members and the local press. It was also the moment that staff, including me, saw the whole thing come together for the first time.

The ornate costumes and grand set added to the polished musical numbers and talented acting from the whole, with even the littlest members going full throttle for their first performances. Ten-year old Benedict Fawcett, of the Dosie’s Darling’s cast spoke to me about his pre-show nerves: “You get really nervous before you go on, but then you get out there and it’s really exciting!” Sharing the stage with him were Jessica Wells, 12, Will Hurst 10, Teagan Manning, 10, Lillian Istance, 11 and Kelis Jennings, 9. “As soon as you hit the stage and see all the people and the lights, those nerves go away!” says Jessica.

The show opened with Brand New Day from The Wiz, a favourite of 10-year-old Teagan's: “It’s such an exciting number to come out and start with,” she says. Kelis prefers the grandeur of the ballroom scene, “The costumes are so beautiful and we get to dance with a partner like a proper ball!”

“It’s great to learn things from the older cast and have a laugh with them on stage too,” says Will.

It is clear to see the energy from the whole cast as the younger community cast interact with the professionals on stage. “I feel very privileged to have been chosen and be able to take part,” Lillian says. And despitehaving 59 performances between the two younger casts yet to work through, are they still excited? A unanimous “Yes!” fills the room.

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