REDDITCH panto star Vernie Bennett really is a fairy godmother.
The singer with pop sensations Eternal, who plays the Spirit of the Beans in the knockout production of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Palace Theatre, recently won £30,000 for charity in All Star Mr & Mrs on ITV.
The show screened just two weeks ago and Vernie, together with husband Bryan triumphed against tough opposition in the shape of motorcycle sensation Carl Fogarty and his wife Michaele and TV’s ‘Last Leg’ presenter Alex Brooker and his other half Lynsey.
Vernie divided it between Cancer Research and CMV a condition which affects new born babies in particular.
However despite all the fanfare over the hit TV programme, hosted by Philip Scofield, Vernie’s been busy on stage at the Palace putting the final touches to her lead role before curtain went up on Monday this week.
“I’d never been to Redditch before this but I’ve got family in Birmingham and Walsall and they’ll all be coming down to the Palace to see the show,” said Vernie.
Her co-star is Welshman and former X-Factor star Lloyd Daniels, who is now an established figure on the West end stage.
“Jack and the Beanstalk is a fun-filled, magical show for all the family,” he said.
It’s Vernie’s first appearance in theatre but as a polished performer in front of the TV screens and thousands of sceaming fans, she’s quietly confident that everything will run smoothly and that everyone will have a great time.
“I’ve been performing most of my life and once I get on stage I know that this is where I’m meant to be,” she said.
“And it’s a great show- it’s a story that everybody knows but with modern songs and a modern twist.
“Every year I take my children to see a panto and this year they’ll be coming to see me! I can’t wait,” she added.
Also starring are panto veterans Ian Mowat as Dame Trott and Tony Rudd as Simple Simon. Ian has extensive stage experience, particularly in light entertainment, while Tony is a star of both stage and screen.
Joining them is writer and actor Andrew Haynes as King Crumble, Birmingham School of acting-trained Simon Kingsley as Fleshcreep, and newcomer and Stagecoach teacher Hannah Bond as Princess Amelia.
A spokesperson from the Palace said: “If you missed seeing our Spirit of the Beans, from girl group Eternal on All Star Mr & Mrs. You can catch up at http://ow.ly/V67Ho on the itv player.
With 70 per cent of seats already sold tickets for the panto are selling fast – the show runs until Sunday, January 3, 2016 and tickets, priced at £19/£20 for adults, are available on 01527 65203 or at www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk .