MORE than a decade ago, a little girl called Scarlett wrote in a blog about her excitement at being part of the cast in a community production at York’s Theatre Royal.

The play was Two Planks and a Passion, an account of how the townsfolk of York reacted to a visit to York by King Richard II and his wife Anne in the 1390s.

Scarlett was hugely proud to have been involved. “My name is Scarlett and I am seven, nearly eight,” she wrote.

“It’s really exciting to be in Two Planks and a Passion. I am in it because my Mum is in it and the director wanted a child in it too, I am the only child in it! It’s sometimes a bit scary, but I feel very lucky and my big sisters are very jealous because they’re not in it!”

Twelve years on, Scarlett is back among the 100-strong company of performers, singers, musicians and backstage workers for the Theatre Royal’s latest community play: an adaptation of C.J. Sansom’s Tudor-set novel Sovereign, a tale of murder and mystery set during a visit by King Henry VIII to York in 1541.

Scarlett, now a student at Sheffield Hallam University who celebrates her 20th birthday during the Sovereign run, is playing royalty – Queen Catherine. Her mother Rosy Rowley will be on stage too, just as she was for Scarlett’s 2011 debut in Two Planks and a Passion. In Sovereign Rosy is playing God.

Since their debut they’ve been in every community production - Blood and Chocolate, In Fog and Falling Snow, The Beggars Opera, Everything Is Possible, The Coppergate Woman and the 2012 Mysteries in Museum Gardens. Rosy’s son Jai has also been a regular.

In her 2011 blog Scarlett confessed to being “a bit nervous” before her first rehearsal, writing: “Everybody was very friendly to me. Juliet the Director introduced me and everybody clapped! I’m in lots of scenes, I am a farmer’s daughter and a servant!”

By her second blog opening night was near. “There’s two teams doing the show on different nights, they are the Masons (that’s the one I’m in) and the Tailors, I know a lot of people now and they are really friendly to me. There’s also three professional actors that play the Royals, they are really nice,” Scarlett wrote.

“All week we have been doing lots of rehearsals at the Theatre Royal, they are called techs and we don’t do much acting, but it’s to make sure everything works and is in the right place…I know the play pretty well now, and I think it’s really cool.”

Reflecting on the family’s passion for the community plays, Rosy says: “I wanted to get into doing some shows after I had my kids. I saw Two Planks and a Passion advertised and thought it would be interesting but didn’t know it would become such a large part of my life. We’ve loved performing together as a family and have made so many friendships over the years.”

Sovereign can be seen outdoors at King’s Manor, York, from July 15-30. Box office 01904 623568/