Waterfront Theatre, Aylesbury
13 December 2013 – 5 January 2014
Reviewed by Zoey Caldwell
Not being from Aylesbury I had no idea what to expect from the theatre when selected to review Sleeping Beauty.
I had my 8 year old, his best friend and his mum with me and we were all looking forward to the pantomime experience. When we turned the corner and saw the outside of the theatre it looked beautiful, so Christmassy with a great big lit tree outside.
The foyer area looked busy with an array of different people around, scout troops, and families, and then beautifully dressed little girls in their very best Sleeping Beauty dress on, excited to see their Princess.
I approached the ticket desk and explained why I was there and was directed to the upstairs area, very politely. All members of staff that we approached for whatever reason, directions, collecting tickets etc… were immaculately turned out, well spoken, helpful and most importantly they seemed genuinely happy to assist.
I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful Waitrose goody bag, with beautiful food goodies and a light up tiara, the staff were more than happy to exchange this for a toy more appropriate for a boy and we were able to purchase another to be fair to both boys.
The theatre was extremely clean and highly maintained. We could not wait to be seated. When the tannoy announcement ushered us to our seats we were overjoyed with the seats that we had. We all had a fantastic view of the stage.
When the cinema screen countdown began… we all joined in excitedly.
The show started with Beauty singing and dancing with the villagers a really upbeat start to the show. The scenery was beautiful and had a gorgeous majestic, glittery detail to it. Costumes were lovely and colourful. I was so happy to hear a current song used!
The characters were brilliantly cast, Anita Dobson as Caraboose was just fantastic. Egging on the crowd to BOOOOOO her louder, being wicked and funny all at the same time. Really could not fault her.
Chester the Jester was extremely good, and included a poor scout leader Tracy in on a gag and then proceeded to tease her throughout. I would definitely look out for the 12 days of Christmas song he performs with 2 others. FANTASTIC, and before the audience gets to join in, the cast come down amongst them and well, see for yourself but I will say the 2 boys I was with LOVED it, and us mums LOVED seeing them so happy
Beauty and the Prince are just as you would expect, young, beautiful talented people, who play being in love so well.
A Pantomime is not a Pantomime without a “dame”, in this case Nurse Molly Coddle. Hysterical. I lost count of the costume changes but they all were as ridiculous as you would expect! The innuendos were there for the adults humour and the jokes were cringingly funny, but once again, that is the magic of Pantomime.
Now I am quite conservative ordinarily, this Pantomime had me Cheering, Booing, Jazz Hands in the Air and even up dancing and singing along for the last song.
That is something else that stood out for me at this performance, they used popular songs, songs that the audience members, young and old would know at least one of! To me this made it more personable and relative to the crowd, they could sit and sing along.
We all had such a wonderful, magical evening at Sleeping Beauty. Each one of us, laughed, cheered, booed danced and sang. I was left wanting the gowns that the princess wore, to be swept off my feet and rescued from the chores of domestic life… I guess for the length of the Pantomime I was. Magical!!
Just to let you know Jake my sons best friend was transfixed the whole time and his quote at the end of the evening was “EPIC”… which even as an oldie I know means he absolutely loved it
Tickets cost from £11.90 to £41.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets click here.