Sleeping Beauty

January 1949


Written by , .

Produced by .

Production Team

Roy Manning


Reviews and Cuttings

Large audiences see “Sleeping Beauty”

On four nights last week, the youth of South Brent, assisted by a few older enthusiasts, gave a very creditable performance of the pantomime “Sleeping Beauty” to crowded houses. The production was in the capable hands of Mrs B Shepherd, who with the assistance of Miss Margaret Jones, wrote the libretto. The music was under the direction of Mr Arthur Manning.

The show opened with a scene at dawn, with Jack Spratt, junior (Peter Moore) and a crowd of young villagers, calling to Jill (Nano O’Connell), to be their May Queen. Both these juvenile leads were excellently trained, and gave a delightful performance.

The second act gave the Queen (Winnifred Windatt), and the ladies of the Court an opportunity to show their colourful costumes, but although there were many excellent voices, the opportunity for light and shade and expression was not fully accepted, in their rendering of Brahm’s  ”Cradle song.” This applied to much of the singing throughout the performance. The Queen, however, gave a very fine dramatic performance.

The ballet was very impressive, and the good Fairy (Eileen Piper) was most graceful and no fault could be found with her performance, which was ably supported by her attendant fairies.

The part of Mother Hubbard (George Salter) Was ably Assisted by costumes and make up, and the humour was well handled, although weakened by speaking at times to the backdrop, a defect apparent with some of the older leads. His rendering with Mrs Spratt (Owen Windsor) of the "Pretty Pink Petti," was a really good effort. The Wicked Fairy (Betty Shepherd) in her effectively dim-lit "Tower," acted with great ability, and her dance was one of the high spots of the show.

Mr Sprat (William Windatt) gave a good performance, and in some of the scenes with Mrs Spratt (Owen Windsor), who made a very pretty Young Girl, drew the audience.

The King (Charles Tothill) made the best of a rather weak part, which was only dignified at the end of the show on his entrance with the Queen. Simple Simon (Trevor Jones) turned his part into a most downtrodden character, which was most effective and well rendered.

The princess Mayblossom (June Andrews) with her girlish voice really gave the impression that she was “but 15." Prince Charming (David Grigor) gave a “dashing performance,” but both he and the The Princess failed to act their love scene with sincerity.

The three Henchmen gave a very amusing tumbling act which delighted the audiences. Bo Peep (Margaret O’Shea) and Boy Blue (Royston Parsons) played their part with ability. The chorus, as a whole, was good and they seemed to enjoy themselves.

The scenery was designed and erected by the Rev. TK Jones, assisted by Mr Watts, and Mr Tothill showed his skill as a scenic artist. Mr Cranch wired up a most effective lighting system which was a great help to the production and the lighting plot was arranged by Mr H Edward. The costumes were made by Mrs James and Mrs Stanton, assisted by Mrs Joint and other ladies, and were a great credit to those concerned. The narrator (Maynie Hudson) showed great ability in handling the connection of the story.

The results showed what a very successful effort it had been for the funds of the Church Hall.


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