Woodbridge: Company of Four’s panto should have been called limping beauty

The Company of Fours Amelia Brown and Molly Heery, now off crutches and raring to perform in Sleepi

The Company of Fours Amelia Brown and Molly Heery, now off crutches and raring to perform in Sleeping Beauty - Credit: Archant

The phrase the show must go on rang painfully true for the Company of Four’s Amelia Brown and Molly Heery.

Sleeping Beauty runs at the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, later this week

Sleeping Beauty runs at the Riverside Theatre, Woodbridge, later this week - Credit: Archant

Both spent weeks rehearsing their respective roles of Prince Valiant and Princess Beauty while on crutches. Not good if the Prince can’t rescue the Princess.

Tickets are available now, see below for details

Tickets are available now, see below for details - Credit: Archant

“Not good if the Princess can’t get off the bed once she’s woken up,” laughs Molly, 16, from Grundisburgh.

Amelia tore cartilage in her right knee, resulting in nine dislocations, damaged ligaments and an operation. The night of her operation, Molly suffered an acute ankle injury and damaged ligaments in the back of her right leg.

“I’m off the crutches now. I was on them for two weeks prior to the operation and a week after so I’m having to learn them at the last minute but we’re getting there. When Molly walked in on crutches they asked if she’d come out in sympathy with me; there’s been a lot of jokes... [we got] the whole break a leg. We didn’t have a good leg between us,” laughs Amelia, 29, from Ipswich.

“And ‘don’t break a leg, just damage your ligaments’,” says Molly, who hurt herself playing a netball match with Christchurch Ladies at Felixstowe. The goal-shooter went to get the ball, ready to get in a shot when her ankle went under her.

“Everybody was ‘get up, it’ll be fine’. I stood up and thought ‘that didn’t sound good, doesn’t feel good’. I decided it’d be a good idea to carry on. I came to rehearsals straight afterwards and was limping.”

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She’s spent the last two weeks on crutches, hobbling around school and through rehearsals.

“I’ve a dance in the pantomime which I had just started learning before I did it... I’ve just been sitting at the rehearsals watching, trying to pick it up.”

At least her netball team won, right?

“No,” she sighs, then laughs. “No happy ending.”

Surrending their roles was never an option for Molly, whose first part in the company was in Sleeping Beauty nearly 10 years ago; or Amelia who’s been a member for 19 years.

“I don’t think it was an option between us two, we’ve been with the company for ages and the show must go on,” says Molly.

“It’s a fantastic show, proper family entertainment; you’ve got comedy, romance, song, dance... there’s something in it for everybody and everybody who comes normally always come back,” adds Amelia.

Sleeping Beauty, written, co-directed and produced by company members Paul Leech and Mike Brown promises plenty of chances to boo and hiss the baddies and cheer the goodies among the 80 or so strong cast.

“The chorus and dance groups have had about six weeks [to rehearse], everybody else have been rehearsing since the middle of October,” says Mike. “It’s going very well, tonight is our first time together. We’re extremely proud of the cast and how hard they have worked so far.”

The Company of Four’s Sleeping Beauty runs at Woodbridge’s Riverside Theatre, February 14–22. Get your tickets by calling the box office on 01394 382174, 10am–8pm, in person or by visiting www.thecompanyoffour.co.uk

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