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Sleeping Beauty

Published Tuesday 4 December 2012 at 09:55 by Roderic Dunnett

No one could sleep through this Sleeping Beauty. Iain Lauchlan, who writes, directs and stars (the unforgettable Dame Nanny Knot) is a talent of Falstaffian flab (a Desmond Barrit of the Xmas stage). His buffooning is classic old-style: scarcely two obscene ribaldries in an hilarious two-hour script. Echoes of Doddy, Tommy Cooper perhaps, but primarily, Lauchlan’s own patent comic genius.

Iain Lauchlan (Nanny Knot) in Sleeping Beauty at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Iain Lauchlan (Nanny Knot) in Sleeping Beauty at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Photo: Robert Day

The scene where a string of sausages got unscheduledly stuck yielded the funniest of ad-libbed exchanges, between Nanny and her hapless stooge, Muddles (Craig Hollingsworth): a cuddly Buttons-type, dressed like a Jester, and far better than either. Both naturally and studiedly gifted, cheeky and confiding, Hollingsworth holds the stage with almost Shakespearian authority. Together, the two bring the house down.

This well-planned show’s hero is designer Mark Walters, whose garish sets and backdrops are like a splay of Kandinsky, softened - this being Sleeping Beauty - by pinks. The costumes - Lauchlan has at least seven - brim over with wit and ideas and the props are a hoot. More importantly, everything is fabulously well-made.

Both princess and beau were wet, and the wicked godmother, fatally inaudible and gabbling at the start, unconvincing: but that’s what panto’s about. John Webb’s fusspot King is a joy. A superb show, worth a bucket of stars.

Production information

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, November 28-January 5

Iain Lauchlan
Steve Boden, Imagine Theatre
Cast includes:
Hollie Anne Cartwright, Craig Hollingsworth, John Webb, Iain Lauchlan, Lee Samuel, Katy Stephens
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