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Sleeping Beauty review at Theatr Clwyd, Mold – ‘eye-wateringly funny’

Scene from Sleeping Beauty at Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Photo: Brian Roberts. Scene from Sleeping Beauty at Theatr Clwyd, Mold. Photo: Brian Roberts.
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In the best rock ’n’ roll panto tradition, Peter Rowe’s version of Sleeping Beauty weaves together several convoluted storylines. It manages to include the world of Camelot and even the three musketeers in its madcap goings on.

The court’s awakening from 100 years slumber takes place here in the 1960s, providing some opportunity for colourful hair and costume design.

Act I contains more than its fair share of “prick” jokes, and an alarming sequence in which babies are juggled with in a rugby scrum, but it still manages to be eye-wateringly funny. It looks as though we might be in for a very short second act until a very imaginative plot twist sets things up for an X Factor style contest between two potential suitors.

The immense strength of this production is its enormously talented cast, all of whom give outstanding vocal performances. They also multi-task on instrumentals, led by some thrilling keyboard work from Greg Coulson.

Sleeping Beauty is a well-structured show that dispenses with the audience interaction early on, eliminating any awkward lags in pace later. All of this is delivered with the aid of Matthew Williams’ exceptionally fine sound design, which means every sung and spoken word is clearly audible, fully engaging the audience throughout.

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Imaginative writing and great musical panache really wake up this Sleeping Beauty