Stage It team at Barleylands

Local children were captivated by a three-day fairy wonderland in Billericay which, it is hoped, will become a permanent feature in the town.

Fairies and pixies alike were in abundance at the exhibition, held at Barleylands Farm Park. ​The display of mythical creatures was erected in an empty conference room at the Barleylands Road venue on Easter Sunday by Billericay resident Susan Thomas.

Mrs Thomas, of Robin Close, now plans to create a series of these fairy-themed rooms in the town.

She said she decided to embark on this project, which she has named 'Stage It', because she wanted to recreate the sense of wonder she had experienced as a child taking part in performing arts.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Susan Thomas"]When I was very small I used to attend the Drama Centre in Bournemouth. I had been very ill with tuberculosis – in those days it was a real worry to any family. I had a wonderful school which, when I had recovered after five years, sent me to the drama centre as a treat. I knew then I had found my vocation – I loved acting. The Drama Centre was a very special place with wonderful people who took the time and trouble to make each visit extremely special.[/quote]

She continued, "One of the first productions I ever saw was George And The Dragon. We were all held a little while in the corridor and the sense of excitement was built up. Smoke billowed out the door and it was quickly closed again – we gasped and we were told not to wake the dragon. I was spellbound by all of this and, for me, the room was an actual land. I have always wanted to recreate that sense of wonder in children and the community, hence this little venture of mine which I hope will go on and grow."

At the fairyland children enjoyed stories, searched for fairy pods and went shopping at the fairy supermarket, which was laden with fairy wands, wings and things to eat.

After leaving school, Mrs Thomas went on to train as a professional actress and drama teacher and three years ago she moved from Dorset to Essex to be with her partner.

She now hopes to find a more permanent setting for her fairyland.

She said: "My big dream is to have a permanent base that I can recreate these lands in. I want to connect with and help children – it's what I have wanted to do all my life. I was ill, I was helped, and I now want to give something back."

Mrs Thomas added: "I need help to achieve this dream, so having an old hall permanently leased to me or a barn just waiting to be used – I would love to hear from anyone. Is there someone with a building just wanting to fill it with smiling happy children? I hope so."

Quotes and image from thisistotalessex

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