Ben Crocker does it again with Sleeping Beauty – this year’s Panto at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury. In his sixth consecutive year of writing and directing never failing to deliver an astounding Pantomime, with plenty of talented singing and dancing; amazing costumes and sets; magical sound and lighting; plus plenty of gags and audience participation – an experience suitable for the whole family.
Sleeping Beauty at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury Plot
In this version of the story which dates back to the 1500s King Norbet (Simon Spencer-Hyde) and his wife Queen Dorothy (our pantomime Dame played by returning actor Ben Eagle) finally are granted their wish of a daughter. When she is born, alas, they do not invited the bad fairy Carabosse (Lucy Jane Adcock) to their celebration. Annoyed that she, and her cat Spindleshanks (Michael Watson-Gray, who also plays Billy), are not invited she curses the Princess Aurora (Alexandra Da Silva) to prick her finger on a spindle and die! Fortunately Fairy Peaceful (Sue Appleby) had not granted her wish yet so is able to alter this to sleep for a hundred years instead, to be woken to the kiss of a true Prince.
Sleeping Beauty at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury Interaction and Humour
A Pantomime is a great time to interact with the audience – encourage shouting, singing and laughing. Of course that includes those special mentions (such as birthdays) and getting the children up on stage helping with the tongue twisters with hilarious results! Filled with rib-tickling action for all the family – never failing to fit in the scene where things get messy in the kitchen – this time going one further and using raw egg! One of the favourite comedy moments involves some Rats in the kitchen singing Elvis Presley’s Shake, Rattle and Roll – which really appealed to my younger children. Plus controversial jokes related to the story and current affairs, some aimed at adults – like having to leave the Fairy Union, you know the F.U! And local connections (such as a mention about even Cascades has been pulled down when Prince Orlando (Zak Derler), the great great, great grandson of Prince Orlando the first arrives at Woolycombe! Plus the penny dropping that he is the same actor as the original Prince Orlando (and then that Spindleshanks and Billy are also played by the same person. This year the Panto at The Roses Theatre is sponsored by local company Peter Ball & Co Estate Agents and you have to laugh at the shameless plug placed within the comedy sketch between Queen Dorothy and King Norbert.
Sleeping Beauty at The Roses Theatre Tewkesbury The Production
It goes without saying that the whole Creative & Production Team have once again done a fantastic job on the stage, costumes, music, sounds & lighting, choreography (and fighting). The Cast have been chosen well with Alexandra Da Silva having a voice of an angel and Lucy Jane Adcock doing an absolutely impressive job of dancing in stilettos. The Roses Theatre do a great job of this by adapting well-loved songs – both current such as Ed Sheeran’s Perfect to old favourites such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and older still Chitty Bang Bang’s Chu Chi Face. I loved the excitement of my son’s realisation that it was the “Alton Tower’s Theme Tune” when the Nutcracker came on – and my husband was pleased to guess that Prokofiev’s piece would be known for Lord Sugar’s The Apprentice. Of course not forgetting the supporting acts from the Chorus. These young people were selected from auditions which were held for those ages 8-16, including the two children who play Kitty the Palace Cat (a silent role which requires good acting and movement skills). For me there was one girl who stood out (we saw the Pins) and it was just a shame that the Chorus were placed at the back behind the adults so much, as they have so much talent.
Tickets cost between £12.00-27.50 (with discounts for concessions and group bookings dependent on the performance) and runs until Sunday 31st December 2017. Book now.
Photo Copyright of Jack Boskett
I was invited to watch Sleeping Beauty at The Roses Theatre. All opinions are honest and my own.