SLEEPING BEAUTY: Ryan, Palace Theatre Mansfield till 11th January

Palace Theatre

Tkts 01623 633133
Runs: 2h 5m: one interval: till 4th Jan.
Performance times: 10.30am some days till Christmas, 2.30pm most days, 7.00pm most days, 12pm and 4pm Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. No performances on Suns, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Signed Performances 12th Dec 7pm and 13th Dec 2.30pm.

Review: Alan Geary: 5th December 2014.

A fun-filled, spectacular and glamorous show.
We’re on well-trodden ground here. There’s the shameless advertising of course; and nearby Shirebrook takes a smacking – this time for being posh. Best of all is that cracking joke when Silly Billy tosses an egg into the audience and says, “The yoke’s on him”.

Nobody hogs it: every performer gets his/her moment (or moments) of magic in a fun-filled, spectacular and glamorous show.

Good Fairy (Sarah Jane Buckley) and Carabosse Bad Fairy (Vicky Entwhistle) are nicely contrasted. One is dim but nice, and comes flying in at the start with a Mummerset accent; the other is in black, loathes kiddies and gets booed wherever she goes. She’s accompanied by a brace of grovelling henchmen. The blundering King (Marcus Knibbs) flirts with Nanny and with the Good Fairy.

Adam Moss’s Silly Billy is a quick gagster and good with the children. And Nanny Glucose, the wonderful Charles Burden in a variety of get-ups, gives Mark in the front row a good-natured hard time.

In the title role, Amy Thompson looks a lot like the real-life Kate Middleton. She’s ravishing in all her frocks – costumes throughout are all stunning. Michael Quinn’s handsome Prince is outstanding. He has an especially strong voice and he does the vanity bit superbly. The episode when he flies forward a century is brilliantly done – special effects overall are excellent.

There are other highlights. That mirror routine from Nanny Glucose and Silly Billy is a delight. And after a nicely messy cooking scene the posh seats are given a free shower when the two of them are let loose with water pistols. They also get sweets thrown their way.

Dance routines are less leggy than in previous Mansfield pantos but they, and a lot else besides, are splendidly done by students from Directions Theatre Arts, Academy of Dance and Expressions Academy of Performing Arts. Songs, for instance the opening duet from Sleeping Beauty and the Prince, are well delivered but too heavily American for the context.

The central plot’s a bit rushed over, but a packed house enjoyed this one. It will surely do good box office.

Good Fairy: Sarah Jane Buckley.
Carabosse: Vicky Entwhistle.
Sleeping Beauty: Amy Thompson.
Silly Billy: Adam Moss.
King: Marcus Knibbs.
Prince: Michael Quinn.
Nanny Glucose: Charles Burden.

Villagers: James Morgan, Lauren Siddall, Abigail Robinson, Alistair George Holland, Alice Kurylo, Lauren Elliott.

Village Children from Expressions Academy of Performing Arts Academy of Dance.

Director: Anthony Williams.
Lighting Designer: Dai Evans.
Choreographer: Andrew Simeon.
Musicians: Martyn St James and Phil Johnson.
Written by: Andrew Ryan.

2014-12-08 20:36:30

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