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Panto returns to Regent Centre in Christchurch with Highcliffe Charity Players' Sleeping Beauty

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PANTO magic will be sprinkled on Christchurch as the award-winning Highcliffe Charity Players (HCP) return with Sleeping Beauty this January.

Performed as a one-act show to limit social contact, the production will be at the Regent Centre for seven evening and matinee shows from 27th to 30th January.

HCP chair Georgina Smith revealed the production will be based on a script by Tom Whaly, with local references and jokes written in by Stephen Hutt.

Georgina Carter takes a wee nap in Sleeping Beauty (photo: Becky Takes Photos)
Georgina Carter takes a wee nap in Sleeping Beauty (photo: Becky Takes Photos)

Georgina added: “In the current climate, we have chosen to stick with the one-act format for now. But never fear, it will still have all the usual ingredients that have made HCP pantos a favourite with all the family.”

The story begins at Princess Beauty’s christening – a perfect day until the wicked fairy Carabosse arrives who casts a spell for Beauty to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die on her 21st birthday. But with a good fairy and Prince Charming on her side, Beauty’s terrible fate is not set in stone.

Show director Matthew Smith said: “I feel so proud that the company, co-founded by my father, has continued to delight panto-goers over generations, while raising thousands of pounds for charity. Sleeping Beauty is one of our favourites because it’s packed with songs, laughter and romance. We also have a great cast, so this should be a treat for the whole family.”

All profits from the production will go to support local charities with over £200,000 donated by the amateur group in the last 50 years.

Making her HCP debut as Princess Beauty is 23-year-old Georgina Carter alongside Beth Chumley as Prince Philip. This year 21-year-old Stanley Smith is also set to become one of HCP’s youngest ever villains as Carabosse.

Georgina said: “There will be plenty to boo, hiss and cheer as good triumphs over evil in this magical pantomime.”

Tickets are £15 for adults and £14 for children. Visit www.regentcentre.co.uk or call 01202 499199.

To be in with a chance of winning a family ticket for the show, pick up a copy of this week's A&T and turn to page 18.

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