Community Players panto adds to £81,000 boost for good causes

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Performers who have raised a whopping £81,000 for good causes through their annual pantomimes are raising the curtain on their latest production.

The Community Players of Chesterfield have been staging their charity shows for 28 years.

This year’s panto, Sleeping Beauty which opens at Hasland Playhouse tonight (Thursday) has been written by health visitor Imelda Cole and is directed by Kaye Gilbert.

Kaye, who is a teaching assistant at Barlborough Primary School, joined the group seven years ago as a dancer. She now choreographs and is musical director. Kaye said: “I think the reason the Community Players have been around so long and continue to grow is that we are all like family. We all work hard together, supporting each other on and off the stage. It’s not all fun and laughter, it’s tiring, frustrating and upsetting at times but on opening night it’s all worth it.

“It gives me great pride to support so many local charities and see the difference it makes to so many people.”

Paul Gilbert, backstage manager, said: “As a new member to the Community Players I have realised how much hard work and dedication these people have to put in every day of their lives; these people have jobs,family and other commitments but still they work hard to give back something to the community.

“When you see the look on the faces of the charities and organisations from our hard work you feel like a superhero but really we are just one big happy family that enjoys what we do and I’m glad to be part of it.”

Beth Kirby plays the lead role of Sleeping Beauty in the show which includes cast members Adrian Barker, Linda Barker, Charlotte Bingham, Angela Burns, Amanda Close, Steven Collis, Hannah Fagan, Sean Fagan, Jill Hesketh, Mark Johnson, Julie Sykes, Jamie Valentine and Courtnay Wattam, with dancers Megan Burdon, Kaye Gilbert, Hayley Heath and Charlotte Jones.

New member Susan Hutchinson has created the costumes.

Sleeping Beauty runs at Hasland Playhouse from February 2 to 4 and from February 8-11. Weekday performances at 7.30pm, performances on Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm.

Tickets £6.50, available from Paul Gilbert by calling 07470070319.