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Katy Stephens in Jack & the Beanstalk. Credit Robert Day

Award-winning RSC actress Katy Stephens signs on for panto

Posted on 5 November 2012

Award-winning, Coventry based actress Katy Stephens has signed up to appear alongside Coventry’s panto legend Iain Lauchlan in this year’s panto Sleeping Beauty, which is running on the Main Stage from 28 Nov 2012 to 5 Jan 2013.

Katy Stephens is no stranger to the Belgrade’s annual pantomime, having appeared onstage as principal boy in numerous productions, most recently in 2005 as Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk. This year she returns to play the role of the wicked Fairy, Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty.

Aside from panto, Katy Stephens has enjoyed a hugely successful career on stage. She recently played Laura in the Belgrade’s critically acclaimed production of Strindberg’s The Father and appeared in Forests at Birmingham Rep. From 2006 to 2011 she was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in numerous productions including The Histories Cycle, for which she won the What’s On Stage Award for Best Actress in a Play. Along with the company, she also won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Ensemble Performance and the Evening Standard Editor’s Award.

Katy will be performing in Sleeping Beauty alongside Iain Lauchlan as the Dame, Nurse Nanny Nora. Iain holds legendary status in Coventry following 12 unforgettable years as Dame in Belgrade pantomimes between 1988 and 1999. He was last seen on the Belgrade stage in 2007 when he made a spectacular, one off return to play the Dame in Aladdin to celebrate the reopening of the theatre after its £14 million redevelopment project.

Katy Stephens said, “The Belgrade holds a very special place in my heart. It’s not just a theatre or a team of people, but a family. Whether I’m treading the boards or just popping in for a coffee, it feels like home. I am honoured to be spending Christmas at the Belgrade in Sleeping Beauty and to be working with Iain Lauchlan again is a bonus!”

Sleeping Beauty tells the tale of a beautiful Princess who is cursed at her Christening by the wicked Fairy Carabosse, so on her 18th birthday she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. The good Fairy Azuriel offers some hope by changing the spell to ensure that the Princess won’t die but will fall into an enchanted sleep for 100 years from which she will only wake if kissed by the one she loves.

Throughout the show Nurse Nanny Nora, Josh the Jester and the dashing Prince Valiant join forces to battle with dragons and time machines to ensure that the Prince is ready to wake the sleeping Princess on time.

As ever, the tale will be told in the very best Belgrade panto tradition with elaborate and beautifully designed stage sets, incredible costumes and a helping hand from the audience.

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