Our 2008 production was the happily ever after show of Once Upon a Mattress! presented at the Pavilion Theatre from 10 to 15 March. Written by Mary Rodgers, daughter of the famous Richard Rodgers, it told the classic tale of The Princess and the Pea – with a twist, a score of toe-tapping songs and some very lovable characters.
Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak and his terror of a wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep her darling Prince Dauntless the Drab single, she has decreed that only the princess that can pass her ridiculous tests may marry her son and no one else in the kingdom may marry until Prince Dauntless does. The crisis escalates when the Lady Larken discovers she is now expecting Sir Harry’s baby! Facing great embarrassment, Sir Harry searches and finally finds an amazing princess, Winnifred the Woebegone (Fred) who instantly catches the attention of the Prince for all the right reasons – and the Queen for all the wrong reasons! But in the end, she passes the Queen’s supposedly impassable sensitivity test. Unable to sleep upon twenty mattresses resting on a single pea, she and Dauntless are united in love, the Queen is overthrown and the King is restored to voice and power. And guess what? They all live happily ever after – but do they ever discover what the real reason was that the princess found her mattress a little lumpy…
Shona Henneberry won the Best Comedienne award at the Assoc of Irish Musical Societies ceremony in Killarney for her part as Princess Winifred. She was one of two leads in the show who were nominated for awards. Jen Dalton was also nominated as Best Female Supporting Actress for her part as Queen Aggravaine.
- Director: Jim Walsh
- Musical Director: Dermot O’Callaghan
- Choreographer: Deirdre Nolan
- Production Manager: Elaine Dillon