Show must go on for Sharna

PLUCKY teenager Sharna Simmons has just one thought – the show must go on.When she landed the lead in Jack and the Beanstalk 15-year-old Sharna was over the moon.

PLUCKY teenager Sharna Simmons has just one thought – the show must go on.

When she landed the lead in Jack and the Beanstalk 15-year-old Sharna was over the moon.

Little did she know that before the curtain was due to go up, her Ipswich home was nearly burnt to the ground and she would have broken a bone in her foot.

Panto veteran Sharna, who in the past landed dancing parts in Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella, has had more than a short run of bad luck in recent weeks.


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She said: "I couldn't believe it when I went home and saw all the fire engines. The fire started in my bedroom and all of my clothes were terribly smoke damaged.

"I lost personal things like cuddly toys and certificates for swimming and talent shows."

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The family was moved from their Nacton Road home into temporary accommodation in Tuddenham Avenue.

The next disaster was only weeks away.

Holywells High School pupil Sharna said: "The new stairs were very steep and the carpet was slippery.

"I was coming downstairs when I slipped and my foot jammed between the bannister. The little toe fractured in two places and the one next to it also broke."

Since her visit to accident and emergency, Sharna has rehearsed for the Landseer Players production without a shoe and on crutches.

"I'm just starting to be able to put some weight on it," she said. "The doctor says that by the time the show opens I should be OK again.

"I broke my finger a couple of years ago playing netball so I suppose you could call me clumsy."

But it will be one beanstalk Jack won't be climbing.

Her mother, Katrina, said: "I certainly hope she won't be climbing it. Who knows what might happen?

"We are very proud of her. She is very determined. She's never once said she thought she couldn't go on.

"Of course we are concerned. But I'm just glad it's not Puss in Boots because she'd never get them on."

James Hayward, pantomime co-writer and director, praised Sharna for her commitment against the odds, saying: "Sharna is a real trouper.

"The day of the fire she turned up at rehearsal and didn't even mention that the only clothes she had left were the ones she was wearing.

"Some people might have taken the night off from rehearsals. But not Sharna.

"In fact she has only missed one rehearsal since we started the show in September and that was the day she had surgery on her broken toe.

"She's a shining example to us all."

You can see how Sharna gets on when the curtain goes up on February 20.

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