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Sleeping Beauty

Published Monday 12 December 2011 at 14:32 by Pat Ashworth

Michael Harrison’s production is so consistently good that it almost defies description. It’s an extravaganza, a fairground ride, lavish in every department from special effects to sets and costumes. But it’s also a cracking good script, a story faithfully told and strong enough to enthral the audience.

Joe Pasquale (Muddles) and Ceri Dupree (Queen Passionella) in Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham (previous picture shows Jenna Lee James as Carabosse)

Joe Pasquale (Muddles) and Ceri Dupree (Queen Passionella) in Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham (previous picture shows Jenna Lee James as Carabosse) Photo: Keith Pattison

There’s never a dull moment, what with motorised loos and mad penguins and a motorbike flying above the heads of the audience. And that’s the tame bit, before the 3D effects that send monsters and bugs and ogres diving into our faces as we advance into the enchanted forest. It’s like something out of a Harry Potter film and yet it’s live theatre, family entertainment at its very best.

Even his strongest fellow actors can’t resist collapse after being goaded by Joe Pasquale’s anarchic, ad-libbing, little-boy-lost Muddles. He takes the place by storm. The wobbly-mouthed Ceri Dupree struts his stuff as Queen Passionella, in gravity-defying hats and a succession of ever more glitzy and outrageous costumes, including a goldfish bowl. Plaudits, too, for Jenna Lee-James’ cruel and imperious villainess, Carabosse, and for Shona White’s Enchantress, a fairy with real drive about her. You wouldn’t see better than this in the West End.

Production information

Theatre Royal, Nottingham , December 10-January 15

Author/executive producer:
Michael Harrison
Director:
Jonny Bowles
Producer:
Qdos Entertainment
Cast includes:
Joe Pasquale, Ceri Dupree, Lucy Evans, Jenna Lee-James, Shona White, Scott Mobley
Running time:
2hrs 25mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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