This year’s Sleeping Beauty is a noisy, colourful affair, with enough funny moments to pad out the traditional story, thus providing many drolleries for a crowded theatre.
A scene from Sleeping Beauty at Royal Spa Centre and Town Hall, Leamington
Yet, oddly enough, I thought at one point that it was I who had gone to sleep for a hundred years, never mind the Princess Belle (a neat performance from Carol Elizabeth Dobson).
I also seemed to have met Belle on another occasion.
For example, the pink perambulator which introduced us to the baby Belle and certain of the sound gags all seemed familiar.
Then the mists cleared and I remembered that the same writers, same characters, same panto (same pram!) are currently to be found at The Roses, Tewksbury.
Even, at some points, the same acting styles. Clearly economy this year knows no bounds.
Thus, the naughty Carabosse at Leamington, has her Tewkesbury doppelganger, although it must be said immediately that both ladies bring a sterling RSC quality to their performances (Genna Galloway is in the green spotlight at Leamington).
Nanny Nora (the indefatigable Kraig Thornber) is one of the best things about this production and when he is around, this dame keeps the stage bursting with energy.
The evening moves sluggishly from one stylised (frequently indifferently lit) sequence to another.
Sometimes your attention is held, sometimes definitely not.
Kevin McGreevy (Josh the Jester) hurtles around the stage with a nice sense of abandon, milking laughter from the house when audience reaction seemed thin. A little of McGreevy goes a long way.