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Sleeping Beauty

Published Wednesday 12 December 2012 at 11:06 by Lesley Bates

Su Pollard has to be one of the loudest, meanest bad fairies on the panto stage.

She’s been honing her child-hating skills touring as Miss Hannigan in Annie and the young audience at an early matinee in Bournemouth lapped up the abuse she hurled from the stage, screeching their disapproval in response.

Ms Pollard is dressed in deepest pink with plenty of sparkly bits - indeed, much of the production seems to be pink and sparkly and generally gorgeous to look at in terms of set and costume.

Which is just as well as it’s decidedly patchy in plotting and script, with masses of padding and ticking of boxes on the set pieces.

It says much that the show’s greatest asset is its chorus of quick-changing villagers and village children and their lively dance routines choreographed by Joanne Day.

Colin Baker, recently emerged from the celebrity jungle, is little more than a token presence as Nanny Nelly and Asa Elliott makes his prince so smug and self-satisfied that you almost feel sorry for Sleeping Beauty (a sweet-voiced Jenna Moore).

Director Chris Jarvis also plays Happy Harry and is essentially the motor that keeps this panto on the road, oozing energy and instantly connecting with his audience.

Other pluses include Kate Weston’s flying Fairy Sparkle, as elegant aloft as she is on stage, and a cleverly worked sequence when Beauty’s prince has to fight a fiery dragon.

Production information

Bournemouth Pavilion, December 8-January 6

Andrew Ryan, Chris Jarvis
Chris Jarvis
UK Productions
Cast includes:
Su Pollard, Colin Baker, Chris Jarvis, Asa Elliott, Jenna Moore, Michael Chance, Kate Weston
Running time:
2hrs 20mins

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 2014