This show’s heart is in the right place. The excellent singing voices of Carys Gray (a particularly soulful Lilac Fairy), Sarah Thatcher (Princess Aurora) and Gary Tushaw (Prince Robin) are too often drowned by synth and percussion, yet the audience doesn’t seem to mind - it’s too wrapped up in the thrill of live theatre.
Vicki Michelle (Carabosse) in Sleeping Beauty at the Harlequin, Redhill
Comic duties are carried by Adam Daye, a fine traditional dame, and Mike Newman Jnr, who has a great rapport with the children in the audience, as Muddles. Maurice Thorogood, who also directs, gives us a nicely avuncular king.
Sets and costumes are particularly spectacular, as are the laser graphics, whether as narration or depicting dragons for Prince Robin to defeat.
The show really takes off in the second half, with lots of traditional set pieces such as a tongue-twister sketch full of ad-libs, a wallpaper routine that’s a little restrained but will surely get messier as the run continues, and a ghosties and ghoulies song.
There’s a quirky yet largely appropriate mix of pop songs - Lady Gaga’s Born This Way being a case in point. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen it sung by Vicki Michelle as Carabosse held aloft by dancers with a laser show swirling around. She is having a whale of a time. So is the audience.