Sleeping Beauty at St. Helens – Review

The spellbinding pantomime Sleeping Beauty is brought to life in St. Helens Theatre Royal. We are taken on a magical extravaganza with glitz, glamour and high quality entertainment. 

Staying true to the original tale, we are introduced to Princess Aurora played by the talented Mia Molly, on the search for her one true love with the anticipated event of her 18th birthday. After meeting her dashing prince played by James Lacey, it truly is love at first sight, much to the discrepancy of her trusted accomplice Chester the Jester. Everything seems wonderfully magical, but as we all know, no fairy tale is ever complete without a villain to mix everything up and Samantha Palin as Carabosse really did do just that. With the threat of the Princess’s safety on the line by a deadly prick from a spinning wheel, the audience are left gasping and booing in typical pantomime style. 

There was some highly comical moments throughout which really kept the pace going, particularly in the second half of the production. One particular notable moment was definitely in the decorating scene, effortlessly performed by the comic duo Chester the Jester and Dame Queenie, who is played by St. Helens own resident Dame, Simon Foster. Their slapstick comedy routine was cleverly choreographed and had the audience in stitches, especially when a particular incident involving an accidental wig misplacement left Dame Queenie feeling a little bare! 

There was plenty of traditional pantomime elements throughout, with most gags superbly delivered from everyone’s favourite Chester the Jester. With his own catchy rhyme and his epic comic timing and infectious energy bouncing around the stage, he really did steal the show, an absolute credit to performer Lewis Devine

After being left with much anticipation if the poor Princess can be revived in the first half, we are all rooting for someone to save the day. Devilish Carabosse sauntered around the stage commanding everyone’s attention, with a big voice and a big attitude, we wonder how anyone will be able to save the prince from her imprisonment. With a strange twist, a romantic relationship begins to blossom between Carabosse and the Jester, with a scene full of innuendo jokes and even a hilarious river-dance and a dancing wolf thrown into the mix, the story really begins to evolve. 

Of course, every fairy tale has a happy ending, with the Prince set free and reunited with his princess, the audience cheered with excitement when Aurora finally gets her true loves kiss. If that wasn’t enough, we were treated to a big dance number with all the cast, with a few added fiery surprises to produce a spectacular ending. 

The production provided the perfect magical family entertainment and offered the exact things that a pantomime should do, with big choreographed dance numbers, tongue in cheek humour, audience involvement and wonderful over-the-top acting. This one definitely caters for the family, and children will love it! There is something for everyone to enjoy, and who doesn’t love a good pantomime to get you in the festive spirit? 

Sleeping Beauty is showing at St. Helens Theatre Royal from Saturday 19th – Tuesday 29th October 2019. 

To book tickets click here 

About Author /

Laura has a Masters in Performance from Liverpool Hope University.

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