The Portsmouth Players head for the Fandango

Charity and the Fandango dancers
Charity and the Fandango dancers
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With songs and dreams in her heart, Charity is a dancer at the seedy Fandango Ballroom in New York City. One fateful day she meets Oscar while they are trapped in a lift together – but will she tell him what she does for a living?

The Portsmouth Players will return to the Kings Theatre from tomorrow until Saturday with Cy Coleman’s musical, Sweet Charity.

Playing the lead role is the players’ choreographer, Jacqueline Willis, who says: ‘It’s a fabulous musical, and a lot of the people should known the tunes and sing along.’

In the musical, and trying to hide her true profession, Charity lies to Oscar and tells him she works in a bank. Soon he proposes, but discovers her real profession and backs out.

The future looks bleak for the bubbly star, but she continues to remain hopeful.

Jacqueline explains: ‘Charity just keeps trying, and wants to be loved but sometimes makes the wrong choices. It’s a bubbly musical really and a bit of fun.’

And playing the lead has its difficulties – Jacqueline only leaves the stage once in the whole performance.

She adds: ‘It’s a great for an actor and you don’t get to do it very often. There’s a lot depending on me.’

Having joined the Portsmouth Players when there was a junior group, Jacqueline has been a member for the past 32 years. She’s also starred in a number of the group’s musicals.

‘I joined because my uncle and my brother were part of it, so it was a little bit of a family affair. I’ve been dancing since I was two and always loved it, so it made sense,’ she says.

‘I create dances for the group too and I’m choreographing the next production of Grease. I love musicals in general, and dancing is where my confidence lies.

‘But I do like branching out and trying new things.’

And with the colder darker nights drawing in, Jacqueline hopes Charity will bring theatre goers out of their homes.

She explains: ‘Nowadays going to watch something on stage isn’t the first thing on peoples’ minds, so we want to bring them in to see something fun and light-hearted.’

Tickets: £7.50 to £12 from the Kings Theatre, Southsea, on (023) 9282 8282 or go to