Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
Everybody loves a panto and this year I was excited to visit St Helens Theatre Royal to watch Sleeping Beauty with my 5-year-old and 2-year-old (her first Panto!). The theatre is a great family run place, with very friendly and helpful staff that always make us feel welcome. The excitement is palpable as we entered the theatre.
Not only does the show boast big names such a Claire Sweeney from Brookside fame and Warren Donnelly from Shameless but also has a mix of local young talent and dancers from local dance schools whose families and friends were also buzzing with excitement to see their talent on show on the big stage.
This take on the beloved fairy tale follows the story of the beautiful princess Aurora (Laura Gregory) born to the Queen Damie (Roy Brandon) and King Ethelered (Warren Donnelly) who at the joyful celebration of her birth was cursed by the evil Carabosse (Claire Sweeney) to prick her finger when she gets older and die. Luckily for Aurora the good Fairy Sparkle (Jess Pritchard) was there to protect her and counteract Carabosses spell, softening it to just send her into a long slumber from which she could be awoken by the kiss of her true love. By amazing chance Aurora had already met Prince Charming before her fate was sealed, but Carabosse was one step ahead, kidnapping him with the intention of killing him.
Following the cursed encounter with a spinning wheel Aurora protector ‘Chester the Jester’ (Tam Ryan) along with Fairy Sparkle and the King and Queen set off to rescue the Prince. Would they get to him in time and give us the happy ending we were hoping for?
Chester the Jester was the heart of the show, adding a brilliantly and genuine streak of comedy throughout; finishing with some great audience interaction. The dance groups were just brilliant, and the show was full of fun and entertaining performances.
My kids loved it and have been telling everyone about it ever since. My son now wants to be a Prince! The audience was full of children of all ages and adults alike, all enjoying the catchy music. The comedy was pitched to appeal to all ages and often referred to the local area which added to the appeal.
I would definitely recommend this show the everyone. It’s great for families and this version of the story worked brilliantly on stage and was easy to follow for little ones. Go and see this show whilst it’s on for lots of laughs and great way to spend an evening or afternoon! 5/5 for a ‘sorted’ show!
Tickets cost from £11 (booking fees may apply).
Sleeping Beauty is at the Theatre Royal in St Helens from 21-29 October 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ