Family Festive Fun at the Aylesbury Waterside (oh yes it is!)

Sleeping Beauty Review

The show began with a great dance routine to Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s Good Time. It was lively and a good way to start. Throughout the performance there were many other enjoyable song and dance routines, aimed at different age groups, which I thought was clever. Written by the well-known actor, Eric Potts, this pantomime offers its audience a well-balanced mixture of comedy, songs, dance routines, banter and jokes, presented and performed by a group of talented comics, actors, singers and dancers, who looked like they really enjoyed what they were doing.

The wide range of sets were visually attractive and interesting, with a smart use of large screen effects that worked well within the pantomime story. There was never a dull moment throughout the entire show. The dance routines were good and fun to watch and the costumes, for everyone, were richly coloured and sumptuous.

Anita Dobson, who stars as The Wicked Fairy Carabosse, was brilliant. She hammed it up in all the right places and gave her performance 100%. She was funny and entertaining, and her many talents clearly shone through. Anita revelled in being booed and was perfect casting for Carabosse.

Andy Collins, as Chester the Jester, was very funny and he made a great contribution to the entire show. His jazz hands were fun and Andy’s rendition, along with two young men, Leslie Garcia Bowman and Ben Gillett, of the 12 days of Christmas, was comical and ‘enthusiastically’ executed. He also teamed up extremely well with Graham Kent, who played Nurse Molly Coddle (great name). Graham was a good panto ‘Dame’ and had the right balance of innuendo for the adults and silliness for the youngsters.

Holly Brewer, as Princess Beauty, was perfect. She looked lovely and has a great singing voice. She was also entertaining and had a polished performance. Holly matched the handsome Prince Antonio, played by Christian Lund.  He also has a wonderful voice and sung A Thousand Years and Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, very well.

There were some good scenes in this panto, and I thought a nice one for the kiddies was when Princess Beauty’s toys came out of the cupboard to protect her against the wicked Carabosse. The toys did a delightful dance routine to Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). Big teddy was great.

David Whitworth was a funny ‘deaf’ King and he worked well with Linda Bardell as his Queen, who constantly had to tick him off for getting it all muddled.

The whole company were excellent and lit up the stage when on it. They also include; Frankie Armitage, Gemma Buckingham, Naoimh Morgan and Helen Penn, and not forgetting the children from The Musical Kidz Company, who were fantastic.

The show ended with a great finally of Rolling on The River that got everyone on their feet, singing and dancing. I would recommend anyone to go and see this excellent show.

Jan Davidson – Photoshoot Magazine

Sleeping Beauty is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until January 5. Tickets range from £10 to £29.50. To book call 0844 8717607 or go to www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury

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