Crawley’s magical Snow White panto gets a feisty princess

Lauren Cocoracchio. Picture by Paul Clapp
Lauren Cocoracchio. Picture by Paul Clapp

Lauren Cocoracchio lives in Horsham, but in every other respect she’s perfectly qualified to play Snow White in Crawley’s panto this year.

She was born in Crawley, she used to go to dance school in Crawley, went on to teach in the Crawley area and used to perform on The Hawth stage.

Now she is back on The Hawth stage for the pantomime running from December 8 to January 7.

It’s her third show with Evolution pantomimes, having previously featured in Sleeping Beauty for them, both at The Hawth and Theatre Royal Newcastle. She reckons she has probably done six pantomimes in all.

“Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without panto. It’s the atmosphere. It’s such a good feeling, really good family fun, and Evolution are great at picking people that work well together.

“It’s a long slog for panto. You do 50-odd performances. Sometimes you are doing three performances a day. You are together for a short but really intense period, so it is really important that you are with people that you get on with.”

Has she ever been in a show where she hasn’t?

“I have been very lucky, but in this industry, there are perhaps a few divas!”

For Lauren, one of the great pleasures is the looks on the children’s faces, either as she looks out at the audience from the stage or later when the children come to the stage door.

“Their faces are full of such a great sense of joy. I love it. I genuinely love it. I just get so excited at the thought of panto. It’s just fantastic to do.

“The past few years I have done the princess roles which is nice, but the great thing about Evolution is that they want feisty princesses.

“Sometimes the princess role can be a bit two-dimensional, not very interesting and just a bit wet. But Evolution pride themselves on their feisty princesses. They encourage you not to be just the usual smiling and waving princess. They like a bit more character in their princesses, like the princess from Tangled.

“Obviously they provide you with a script that you have got to learn, but you get more flexibility to interpret it in your own way. They give you a lot more free range.

“Sometimes they adapt it to whoever is playing it, but you also get the chance to add bits maybe and change things that don’t work.”

The only downside is that Christmas Day is your only day off.

“I just have to cram all the food I can on December 25!”

Lauren trained at Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts in London.

Theatre includes: Marge in Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (The Gatehouse); lead vocalist on board the Queen Victoria & the Queen Mary (Qdos Entertainment); Lost Boy (Finborough & Charing Cross Theatre); Dancing in my Dreams (Oxfordshire Theatre Company UK National Tour); Family 2.0 (The Cockpit Theatre); Snow White (Evolution, Alban Arena); Royal Masonic Gala (Prince of Wales Theatre); Chicago (Avondale Theatre); Keep Running (TIE The Princess Diana Trust) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (TIE Complete Works TC).

Television includes: Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV); Killer (Toby Clarke) and a series of Debenhams Idents for Neighbours.

Call 01293 553636.

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