Race against time to stage tribute

It was a race against time and as the hours ticked by there were worries the production could turn into “Pantomonium”. But last night, just 36 hours after the Worstead Entertainers began to put together their latest show, the curtain rose to delight the crowds.

It was a race against time and as the hours ticked by there were worries the production could turn into “Pantomonium”.

But last night, just 36 hours after the Worstead Entertainers began to put together their latest show, the curtain rose to delight the crowds.

In the space of one weekend, a 20- strong team of amateur dramatists wrote, rehearsed and performed a fun and festive show as a tribute to a popular village teenager who died in August.

From start to finish it was a race against time.


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While the nine-strong cast had to learn songs and lines and rehearse, the eleven members of the backstage crew had to produce the show, complete with sound effects and flamboyant costumes, at record speed.

Director Danielle O'Hara said: “Since we started on Saturday morning it has been a very good atmosphere and people have been really, really excited.

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“There were moments when I wondered where we were going with it and I worried time was running away from me, but I never thought we would not make it.

“I decided to do it in a weekend because I really wanted to push people, to get them out of their own skins and to learn something about themselves. Also everyone could give up a weekend to do it.”

The show, based on Cinderella, has been subtitled Charlotte's Challenge, after villager Charlotte Robinson, an 18-year-old founder member of the Worstead Entertainers who died in August from complications following a protracted battle with an eating disorder.

The death of the popular straight-As student touched the hearts of many in Worstead, and hundreds packed the church for a memorial service in September.

Profits from the production will go to the Beat charity, which helps young people with eating disorders.

Charlotte had played the wolf in an earlier panto as well as helping out backstage with a musical earlier this year.

“Charlotte would have been 19 last week,” continued Ms O'Hara. “I wanted her to be involved in this project, and she would have loved it.

“I did not feel like doing much after she died, but we decided to do it anyway, to capture her energy and spirit.”

Charolotte's family attended the performance and were joined by more than 100 others.

Her father Chris Robinson said: “This was a surprise in many ways but it is nice Charlotte is remembered by so many people.

“She was a very active and determined girl who was caught out by one of life's tragedies.”

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