Panto star urges children to bring the noise in Mansfield

A panto star has urged children to bring the noise when she returns to the Mansfield stage – saying Mansfield audiences are the best and noisiest she has ever experienced.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 11:58 am

Rebecca Wheatley is preparing to return to the Palace Theatre for her second panto in four years.

After appearing as the Vegetable Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2017, she is returning to play the Good Fairy in this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

Rebecca says: “I play the very lovely Good Fairy and I can’t wait. She really does do her best and has all the sparkle. I love being magical.

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Rebecca Wheatley is the Good Fairy in the forthcoming Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Mansfield's Palace Theatre.

“And Mansfield is one of my most favourite theatres. I was the Vegetable Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2017.

“I remember the wall of sound that is the children’s performances at Mansfield. They are off the Richter scale with their cheering, booing and laughing. The noisiest and best I’ve ever experienced. Keep it up Mansfield young ’uns – we love it.”

And the former star of hit BBC drama Casualty is becoming a bit of a regular at the Palace, having perfomed as the ‘beleagured housewife’ in Menopause the Musical in 2019.

“That’s a very different show, but they do love it in Mansfield and we love playing there,” said Rebecca.

Actress Rebecca Wheatley.

“I am now preparing to tour again with Menopause the Musical 2, Cruising through Menopause, a new show which was sadly interrupted by Covid last year.

“It’s a hilarious, all-singing, all-dancing romp through the menopause – we tour through February to July next year.

“It’s such a special show and rare to have such a fantastic response from our mostly female audiences.

“They are almost as noisy as Mansfield kids – but not quite.”

Rebecca Wheatley as The Vegetable Fairy in Jack in the Beanstalk at Mansfield's Palace Theatre in 2017.

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Laughs

For now, the 56-year-old is looking forward to panto again.

Rebecca said: “Mansfield is a great place to do panto.

From left, Rebecca Wheatley, Cheryl Fergison, Maureen Nolan and Hilary ONeil in Menopause The Musical.

“The crew and staff at the theatre are a crazy and lovely bunch and the best bakers – the green room is always full of homemade cake and lots of laughs.

“I think Mansfield people, once they take to you, are some of the friendliest I’ve met.”

Sleeping Beauty is on at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre from November 27-January 2. To book tickets, see mansfieldpalace.co.uk or call 01623 633133.

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Rebecca Wheatley played receptionist Amy Howard in the BBC's Casualty drama from September 1997 until March 2001.