Classic panto set for the Haverhill stage

Victoria Harvey (Rapunzel) and Billie Allen (Will) in rehearsal for the Centre Stage Company's new pantomime, Rapunzel. Picture: Andy Mayes ANL-160801-132741001
Victoria Harvey (Rapunzel) and Billie Allen (Will) in rehearsal for the Centre Stage Company's new pantomime, Rapunzel. Picture: Andy Mayes ANL-160801-132741001

Anyone going to see the Centre Stage Company’s latest pantomime, Rapunzel, will be witnessing Nick Keeble’s return to the stage as the dame after a six-year break.

Nick last donned his panto wig and dress when the Centre Stage performed the Hunchback of Notre Dame in 2010, but he has been tempted back by the role of Nellie Bangs in this year’s show.

Nick said: “I don’t know if there was any prime motivation. I haven’t done it for a while and I quite enjoy it.

“I just went along to it and thought it would be nice to audition.

“I think it’s a very simple script and I’m a simple person!”

Rapunzel has a cast of about 60 and is directed by Kelly Mepham and written by Becca Neal.

It tells the story of the Princess Rapunzel (played by Victoria Harvey in her first principle role) who is kidnapped by Mother Gothel (Denise Harriss) because of her fabulous hair, which has magical powers that keep Mother Gothel youthful when brushed.

In true panto-style, the hero Will, played by Billie Allen and the son of Nellie Bangs, sets out to rescue Rapunzel from her imprisonment in the tower.

The whole story is loosely themed around hair products.

It is set in the land of Babyliss, whose ruler is King Bouffant (Andy Letcher). The fairy (Charlotte Scammerton) goes by the name of Herbal Essence, comedy duo Head & Shoulders are played by Nick Selin and Steve Marsh while Nellie Bangs manages a hair salon called Curl up and Die.

The show is littered with great choreography, slapstick comedy and plenty of familiar songs, with Tony Trott directing the music and Daisy Webb the choreography.

Rapunzel runs from January 22 to 24 and 28 to 30 at Haverhill Arts Centre. Call 01440 714140 for tickets.