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‘She is the real Sleeping Beauty’ - Panto producer’s tribute to late mother

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 December 2018

Producer Ryan Holt is dedicating the Beccles pantomime Sleeping Beauty to his mother Vivien Rodgers, who died in January. Photo SparkLive Productions.

Producer Ryan Holt is dedicating the Beccles pantomime Sleeping Beauty to his mother Vivien Rodgers, who died in January. Photo SparkLive Productions.

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A pantomime producer is dedicating his latest show to the memory of his biggest fan - his mother.

Rebecca Jillings and Matthew Squance are playing Sleeping Beauty and Prince William in this year’s Beccles pantomime Sleeping Beauty.
Picture: Charlotte James Photography.Rebecca Jillings and Matthew Squance are playing Sleeping Beauty and Prince William in this year’s Beccles pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Picture: Charlotte James Photography.

Ryan Holt’s Spark Live Pantomimes is holding the Christmas residency at Beccles Public Hall for the fourth year running with Sleeping Beauty.

But this year will hold particular poignancy for the 24-year-old, who unexpectedly lost his mother Vivien Rodgers in January, at the age of 54.

Mr Holt, who hails from Corton near Lowestoft, said: “Mum was so supportive and encouraged me to succeed. She was the person who introduced me to pantomime by taking me to see Peter Pan.

“I was completely spellbound and she could see that. It was that visit to the theatre that really sparked my interest in pantomime and my ambition to produce my own.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty, which will be performed at Beccles Public Hall this Christmas. Credit: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.The cast of Sleeping Beauty, which will be performed at Beccles Public Hall this Christmas. Credit: James Norman at Charlotte James Photography.

“After she passed away I was looking through Facebook and I found some posts she had written that I had never seen, where she described how proud she was of what I had achieved.”

He added: “There is a dedication in the programme to her, because to me she is the real Sleeping Beauty.”

The pantomime began its 12-show run on Friday, December 21 and will continue until December 31.

Many familiar faces will be returning, including Daniel Hanton as Dame Victoria Sponge, Ross Chenery as Muddles, Rebecca Jillings as Sleeping Beauty, Christian Manderfield as King Bumble, Thom Bailey as Carabosse and Laura Watling as Fairy Lights. Matthew Squance is also joining the cast as Prince William.

It tells the classic story of Princess Aurora, who is cursed by evil and later falls asleep for 100 years, after touching the spindle of an enchanted spinning wheel.

With only true love as the cure, expect some cracking comedy, dazzling dancing and a huge helping of family fun.

Ryan said: “There is limited availability now at most performances, so booking is essential. We just can’t wait to start now. We have been rehearsing in the theatre all week and we are ready.”

A family ticket for two adults and two children is £42, adults are £12.50, children, £10.50 and concessions are £11.50.

Call the box office on 01502 770060, or visit www.becclespublichall.org.uk

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