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Review: Sleeping Beauty

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By: Suzanne Cleave, TRP Reviewer

 

Sleeping Beauty at Theatre Royal Plymouth

22 December 2022

The programme for Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Sleeping Beauty says ‘The Pantomime of Your Dreams,’ and it definitely lives up to that!

With a cast including EastEnders star Shane Richie as Muddles, X Factor winner Matt Terry as Matt, the Court Balladeer, and popular female impersonator Ceri Dupree as Queen Fabulosa, the production was fantastic from start to finish.

We first meet Queen Carabosse, played by Britt Lenting, who was in fine voice throughout, and whose performance as the baddie was worthy of all the boos that were thrown at her! She wanted to get revenge on her twin brother, King Crackerjack, who ruled the Kingdom of Jannerland with his wife Queen Fabulosa and beautiful daughter, Princess Aurora.

Carabosse had given birth to a daughter on the same day, Princess Narcissa, who she was training to be just as mean as she was!

She placed a curse on Princess Aurora that before her 21st birthday she would prick her finger and die. King Crackerjack had burned all the spinning wheels in the land as a result, but she still vowed to take revenge on Jannerland!

On her 21st birthday, Princess Aurora sets her eyes on Matt, but will true love win or will Carabosse put a spanner in the works? Only time will tell!

King Crackerjack (Peter Piper) and Queen Fabulosa are a brilliant double act. There are jokes for the children, and plenty for the adults!

Headline act, Shane Richie received the biggest cheer of the night when he appeared on stage as Muddles. He described himself as a ‘cheeky Cockney in Plymouth; like Phil Mitchell with hair!’ He was perfect for the role – cheeky, likeable with great on-stage presence.

The set is top notch and the songs are all catchy. Jarneia Richard-Noel, as the Good Fairy and narrator, ties the story together and bring some festive sparkle to the stage.

Mention must also be given to the costumes, particularly those of Queen Fabulosa are, well, just fabulous, and would make the likes of Danny La Rue jealous!

There are of course some surprises along the way. Without giving any spoilers, the mode of transport at the end of the first act is truly magical!

Sleeping Beauty is everything you could wish for in a pantomime – a great cast, a fantastic storyline and over two hours of laughs. It has to be Theatre Royal Plymouth’s best one yet!

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