As usual the New Theatre bang out the bling and special effects in their big budget, long-running pantomime. This season’s festive fairytale Sleeping Beauty is packed full of fireworks, twinkle-twinkle starry nights, flying bicycles, tarzan-rope swinging, curtain-clinging, Batman and Robin and four can-canning penguins. Plenty to inspire children’s wide-eyed awe, but at times the next-next-next changeover of acts on stage can feel rushed and confusing and choreography is uneven.
The Faaaaaabulous Ceri Dupree steals the show as leggy (Drag) Queenie - think Lily Savage meets Lady Gaga. Having parodied most famous female singers in his cabaret club career, here he appears as Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger with new lyrics, elastic arms and a daffodil diva dress - “Iechyd da! I’m a star!” Spotlight-missing, ad-libbing jester Muddles (Joe Pasquale) has the cast laughing in all the wrong places and the kids laughing in all the right ones as he tries to pull a member of the audience, and save Princess Beauty.
Arachnophobics beware - when donning your magic glasses there are plenty of 3D creepy crawlies to get the audience screaming including face-jumping spiders. Lots of them. Rating much scarier than this year’s hiss-and-boo baddies - a velveteen Carabosse (Lucy Williamson) and her hunchback son Slimeball (Michael Peluso).