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Sleeping Beauty

Published Monday 24 December 2012 at 09:55 by Will Ramsey

Close to 50 years in the business, the Chuckle Brothers remain endearingly boyish. The duo blunder through a cooking routine (the oven explodes) and moon over Sleeping Beauty in Qdos Entertainment’s lovingly-crafted show.

Their performance is the highlight of this year’s Hull panto, which proves an engagingly glitzy and glamorous staging - with Lea Marinelli a sparky, and sparkly, Beauty.

In support, Wendy Somerville seems to be have a particularly good time as the dastardly Carabosse, both in winding-up the Hull audience - “Shabby little town,” she sneers - and giving a performance which is fearsome, and a little flirty.

But the performance belongs to the Chuckle Brothers in the roles as court jesters.

The duo retain the characters familiar from their television shows - Paul as the dominant one, Barry the slightly forlorn follower in his wake, but both are endearingly clueless.

Their expert muddling - garbling words, deliberate misunderstandings - and their clowning owes a debt to the music hall. Somehow, call it showbiz sparkle, it seems timeless.

There are some lovely routines, including a gymnastic sequence in which Paul “balances” another man on his head. The deceit is obvious - the wires are showing, and the man is left dangling mid-air, but that’s the joy of it - knocking the joke down just as it has been set-up.

Production information

Hull New, Hull, December 6-January 6

Jon Conway
Alan Harding
Jon Conway
Paul and Barry Chuckle, Lea Marinelli, Wendy Somerville, Des King, Nick Millward, Barry Bloxham
Running time:
1hr 45mins

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