by Eric Potts.

Coliseum Theatre Fairbottom Street OL1 3SW To 8 January 2011.
10.15am 2, 3, 6-9 Dec.
2.15pm 2, 4, 6-8, 10, 11, 13-18, 20-4, 27-31 Dec, 6-8 Jan.
7.30pm 3-4, 9-11, 13-18, 20-24, 27-31 Dec, 3-8 Jan.
Audio Described: Thu 16 Dec
BSL Signed: Thu 16 Dec
Runs 2hr 40min One interval.
TICKETS: 0161 624 2829.
Review: Stoon 27 November 2010.

A Comatose Stunna.
High-achieving trad Panto, devoid of saccharine celeb dilution, is the minimum requirement of any Coliseum Xmas show – and 2010’s enlisted Sleeping Beauty, far from being caught dozing off-guard, seems likely to be brighter-eyed than the majority of this year’s offerings.

The requisite check-boxes – seriously high velocity launched sweeties, press gang recruitment, audience dislike of a Dick Dastardly type – are all ticked without over-indulgence, allowing Kevin Shaw’s fizzy’s directorial wand maximum effect.

The wonderful Fine Time Fontayne (Nurse Nora), already confirmed as next year’s Dame, once again gives bad dressing a good name with some eye-popping outfits which are (pleasingly) more costume orientated than purely dressy compared to previous collections. He’s the natural focus, but this time the spotlight’s more evenly shared between the ensemble, who gel with playful ease – a continuity spin-off as six outta the eight cast featured in 2009 – along with the entire creative team.

The real plus this year is the presence of an axis of evil with real substance in the form of Sue Devaney as Carabosse, whose appearances are a show in themselves and a match for villainous all-comers this year. Additionally an appealing streak of anarchy runs through the evening, which rewards the audience with asides and impromptu ad libs when lines become muddled – though Fine Time is as ever the Master of ridicule.

The appealingly lit picture pop-up book set is a perfect backdrop to the unfolding shenanigans, which by nature are far from seamless; yet this hardcore theatre voyeur never deserted onstage events for a glance at his watch, despite a stretched tail-end – which makes it the best Coliseum festive punt I’ve seen.
In Olympic sprint terms this isn’t going to trouble Hackney, but it a contender to make the men’s final.

Nurse Nora: Fine Time Fontayne.
Carless Carrie: Amy Rhiannon Worth.
Carabosse: Sue Devaney.
Queen Hermione: Linzi Matthews.
Cheeky Chester: Richard J Fletcher.
Princess Beauty: Nicole Evans.
King Cuthbert: Patrick Bridgman.
Fairy Rainbow: Heledd Baskerville.

Director: Kevin Shaw.
Designer: Celia Perkins.
Lighting: Thomas Weir.
Sound: Lorna Munden.
Musical Director: Dave Bintley.
Choreographer: Beverley Edmonds.
Fight director: Renny Krupinski.
Assistant choreographer: Zoei Cozens.

2010-12-01 14:49:35

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