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Sleeping Beauty – The Pantomime of Dreams review at Lichfield Garrick – ‘simply stunning’

Cast of Sleeping Beauty at Lichfield Garrick Theatre. Photo: Pamela Raith Cast of Sleeping Beauty at Lichfield Garrick Theatre. Photo: Pamela Raith

This is a simply stunning show that oozes quality through its every pore. It sparkles brilliantly from the opening line and never lets up. Paul Hendy’s script is crammed full of original jokes that are genuinely funny and yet, despite the strong comedy emphasis, he still manages to stay true to the timeless traditional story.

The many highlights include an all-too-rare panto treat: a hilarious slapstick scene. The fantastic frolics take place in a palace bathroom where ace comics Ben Thornton and Sam Rabone, in their roles as Jangles and Nurse Nellie, get thoroughly soaked as various fitments repeatedly drench them, often in unexpected ways. The hardworking pair also perfectly handle a scene in which the laughs stem from the furiously fast production of an array of newspapers and magazines.

Rebecca Keatley is a delightfully different Fairy Moonbean, combining charm with humour, and Siani Owen, an excellent singer and dancer, makes a deliciously hateful Carabosse.

As the fate of Sleeping Beauty (Jo-Anne Stevens) unfolds, there are delights and surprises aplenty, such as her team of toy soldiers coming to life and the dramatic appearance of a spectacular fire-breathing dragon.

Lavish sets and dazzling costumes complete this heady mix of panto perfection.

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Verdict
Truly wonderful show that would be hard to beat anywhere in the country
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