Big sound, big sets and big performances are on offer with this pantomime, the brand new Floral Pavilion’s debut production since opening in early December, and in all honesty, if this is only a taste of things to come, then Wirral’s theatre-loving public should be positively salivating.
Aiden Bell and Dave Benson Phillips are bursting with comic energy as Queen Hilda and Cuthbert the Jester respectively, leading the audience in a merry dance of participation. Charlotte Milchard, who is all darkness and childish spite as Carabose, is exceptionally and brilliantly nasty and Peter Tilly as the pompous King Humphrey is a delight. Add to the mix more than a little sprinkling of glamour from Leanne Campbell and the superb talent of Mike Holloway and combine it all with the extra ahh-factor of children’s television favourite, Fifi Forget-me-not, as voiced by Jane Horrocks, and what results is a production of Sleeping Beauty that’s a sure-fire winner that more than deserves its 80% sell-out run.
Aided and abetted by the excellent Rita Proctor Teensteppers for a chorus line, some sumptuous costumes and a whole load of cracking song and dance routines, the Floral Pavilion’s return to the limelight is off and running and long may its race continue.