Writers Sarah A Nixon and Mark Chatterton (who also directs) strike the perfect balance of storytelling and seasonal lunacy in their new rock’n’roll treatment of Sleeping Beauty. Told in flashback after a neat opening sequence, the production gets in all the important plot elements, having immense fun along the way.
Stephanie Hockley returns in the central role of Princess Rosa and really owns the stage. There is sharp comic timing in the supporting cast, with Danny Burns in particular packing in the laughs. Adam Keast’s Sir Roger has the lion’s share of the double-entendres, as usual. As Queen Gladys, the dame’s shoes are filled with huge success by Matthew Quinn. He makes the part his own and demonstrates some great vocals too. Less satisfying is Gracie Lai’s slightly underplayed evil fairy, Magnificent.
One stroke of writing genius is the character of Fairy Poppins, in which Anna Soden is practically perfect in every way.
It’s hard to imagine how Dinah England could squeeze more colour and sparkle into her sets and costumes. Meanwhile, outstanding sound design balances Greg Last’s music with the vocals so that every syllable is crystal clear.
The Everyman’s annual family favourite has found a renewed freshness and energy.