Sleeping Beauty, The Core Solihull, 4****, or, Hugo in Panto – Part 4: Rod Dungate


Sleeping Beauty, by Morgan Brind


The Core Theatre, Solihull

Presented by Little Wolf Entertainment

Runs: 2h 30m, one interval, till 6 January 2019

BO and Information

0121 704 6962

Review: Rod Dungate, 28 December 2018


This is a panto really at home in The Core

Sleeping Beauty explodes like a glorious firework in the intimate Core. There; there is a most lovely bond between audience and the show – it feels, not like a show being performed for an audience, but like a family performing for mutual pleasure. Like many fireworks the show if full of brilliant energy, unlike may fireworks (at least from my childhood) there is no disappointment and it certainly does not fizzle out. This is a strong company and the sense of joyful ensemble is tangible. While the show itself feels very much of today, I like the company’s attention to pantomime detail and tradition. The decorating slap-stick is here, the ghost sequence, the repeating patter song.; all integrated into a story that spins along. It is tradition, too, that certain sections are in verse; for the most part this worked well, but just occasionally the script feels as if it wants to burst free.

Dan Smith makes a fine dame, driving the action along – naturally a big character, but never over-balancing the whole. Nic Lamont’s Carabose is very frightening with her end of the first half appearance a real shocker.

Alan Bowles who directs ensures clarity and speed. Great witticisms in the script and lyrics and some sharp choreography. With some astounding (not to say death-defying) gymnastics from the young dancers.

And what of Hugo who has been the RG guide through the rehearsal process? He turns out to be a veritable perpetual bouncing-ball of motion. Supporting his performance with great truth, he opens out the chold in him, creating a perfect bridge for the children into his world, and for the company into theirs.

The show is created by Little Wolf; I understand this is their first at The Core. I’ll bet anything it won’t be their only pantomime there; the audience will already be anticipating next year’s offer.

(Full credits will follow)


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