Calling the wicked fairy Bad Nana Sandra is a masterstroke (see, you’re laughing already), but Nana Sandra (Celia Adams) is not all that bad. She is just annoyed that she was not invited to the baby’s naming party. And after casting the dreaded spell, she does try to make amends.
For the sixth in their acclaimed series of traditional fairytales at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, writer Mike Kenny and director Gail McIntyre take a mischievous, sideways but always respectful look at Sleeping Beauty. Bad Nana Sandra has to conjure up a dashing prince (Simon Kerrigan) but he isn’t really that dashing - he’s all that she could find in the neighbouring kingdoms.
An ensemble cast of actor/musicians has younger members of the audience thoroughly involved in what happens. Some of them get to hold the baby, others get to dance on stage.
The thick briar hedge surrounding the enchanted castle is woven by the cast, using long lengths of material lit by white bulbs, and characters who have become stuck in it cry out warnings.
There is so much enchantment, so much astonishment and so much joy. This is theatre for children at its absolute best.