Review: Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, runs until January 13
PUBLISHED: 12:40 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 05 December 2018
Full of fun, frolics, laughter and song plus fast-paced dance routines and a bit of a soaking for the audience - all the ingredients for a successful seasonal panto.
And that’s what you get with the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ production of “Sleeping Beauty”.
It’s another laugh-a-long show packed full of all the great ingredients for all the family.
From a comedy double act to a wicked and extraordinarily believable bad fairy and from the fairytale romance between a prince and princess to the bizarre bugle-blowing of a camp, royal courtier, it has you up and down in your panto seat.
You can also throw in pistol firing water guns pointed and sprayed in all directions, the exhaustive version of “Partridge In A Pear Tree” which includes five toilet rolls and a bra that was meant to hold three, a tricky and expertly sung Suffolk song featuring as many villages in the county you can name, a wonderful nod to Aretha Franklin’s hit song “Think” and a string of other memorable tunes.
Chris Clarkson as Nanny Fanny helps to hold the production together and his opening line is very apt: “A pantomime of your dreams.” He is ably supported by Oliver Mawdsley, as Grub, who gets the audience onside with his catchline “Rub-a-dub-dub” to which they reply “How you doing Grub?”
The romance comes in the shape of song and dance experts Jasmine Hackett, as Princess Aurora, and Joseph Conner, as Prince Florin, whose duet of Ed Sheerin’s hit song “Perfect” is absolutely stunning along with their rendition of Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” as they get the cast to “shake their bodies and do the conga, I know you can’t control yourself any longer.”
Add to that the bizarre bird watching antics of the appropriately named King Edmund, portrayed by Neil Stewart; his courtier Rupert, played by Joey Warne; Fairy Fortune (Elin Llwyd) whose delivery and significant Welsh accent matched Nessa straight out of the TV comedy series “Gavin and Stacey”; and the wonderful Britt Lenting as the formidible and outright devilish Carabosse, Fairy Fortune’s sister, whose outrageous laugh echoes around the auditorium.
She is the undoubted star of the show in my eyes with her wonderful portrayal of an evil, yet deep down kind, yet bad fairy.
And it’s all artistically brought together by the Theatre Royal’s director Karen Simpson.
A panto not to be missed.