Sleeping Beauty review at Marlowe Canterbury

It is true that pantomime needs to move with the times and this year the Marlowe has gone out of its way to be contemporary. Songs by The Darkness and Busted, wedged into the fairytale, are not obvious combinations and do not always sit comfortably.

Toyah Willcox as the evil Carabosse carries off her numbers with professionalism and maintains the energetic baddie throughout. Credit too to Lucy Sinclair as Beauty, producing strong vocals. However, her first scene, recreating Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time, dispels any allusions that she is sweet and demure.

Jack Ryder – Jamie from Eastenders – as Prince Charming and making his debut in pantomime, seems uncomfortable with the idea and needs to relax into the role. Dave Lee returns, this time as Nurse Dollop and pairs well with Paul Ferguson’s sprightly Pickles. Good to see Aimee Holden too, making a delightful flying Lilac Fairy.

Members of the young chorus, under the choreography of Sarah Dean, show polish in their dancing and interact well together. Jenna Blease’s ice-skating scene was an accomplished addition.

Kevin Wood’s alternative slant on some of the traditional conventions is to be congratulated but there needs to be a balance in order for it to work and at times the magic of pantomime is lost in the quest to be different.

Production Information

Marlowe, Canterbury, December 9-January 30

Kevin Wood
Kevin Wood Pantomimes in association with the Marlowe Theatre
Lucy Sinclair, Jack Ryder, Toyah Willcox, Dave Lee, Paul Ferguson, Aimee Holden
Running time
2hrs 30mins