The 2003 production of Carshalton Pantomime Company's Jack and the Beanstalk was the Company's 39th show and MEV Productions was there
to shoot a documentary charting the history and rehearsal process of staging a traditional community pantomime.
The Documentary incorporates footage of the rehearsal, script, set design and history with interviews with key members of the society and
the Companys ongoing charity connection.
The 2003 production of Jack and the Beanstalk will be the Company's 37th traditional panto. Originally, productions were staged in the
Carshalton Public Hall (which is now the Charles Cryer Studio Theatre), which was transformed to create a truly magical atmosphere.
The show grew rapidly - and by popular demand - from five performances at the start to the seventeen consecutive performances, which
are now presented at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton. This is believed to be one of the longest runs without a break, for an amateur
company in this part of the country and calls for considerable effort on their part. As a result the Pantomimes have established a
regular place, despite strong and growing competition, in the local social calendar.
The Company, originally the brainchild of Charles Cryer, the Westmead Players and Sutton Arts Council, eventually became known as
the Carshalton Pantomime Company. With help from many sources it has established its present strength. The whole organisation is entirely
unpaid and a few theatrical professionals help voluntarily with the productions.
All proceed have been donated to the Friends of Queen Mary's Hospital for Children (now situated at St. Helier) and Orchard Hill
(which remains on the original site). This is a voluntary body, which raises money to provide amenities and funds for items,
sometimes essential, which may necessarily be regarded as low priority on the Health Authority budget.
Presented here is the Documentary Movie in four parts.
total over the years to over £200,000. Many prominent local actors and actresses have played in the shows and the Company is proud
that a number have "moved on" to success in the professional theatre.
The Company's wardrobe now comprises thousands of costumes, its scenery store is extensive and properties abound, Throughout the
year, many items are used by other societies and professional companies. We provide many costumes for other amateur and professional
shows and scenery for many theatrical productions. The Society's wardrobe has recently moved from its long-term home at Queen Mary's
to a new location in the grounds of Sutton Hospital, which members have re-plumbed, re-decorated and re-wired to meets its needs.
A hard core of around thirty people works throughout the whole year, devising, writing story lines and musing, designing and making costumes
and scenery and, for months, rehearsing. Costumes and scenery made for previous productions are cleaned stored and made available
for hire, thus generating additional funds.