There are moments in Venue Cymru’s Sleeping Beauty capable of entrancing both adults and children alike. The set design, elegantly lit by Rory Beaton, proves captivating to the young audience from the second they sit down with projections of spindles strewn across the theatre, and a stunningly carved castle.
Although the face of this pantomime, Benidorm’s Sherrie Hewson barely graces the stage. This is a shame, as her few moments as Nurse Temple Savage are delightful, infectious and full of cheeky charm. There’s strong work too from Nigel Ellacott’s Dame and Kieran Powell’s Jester, both perfectly cast as the joking courtiers.
While the design is one of this panto’s assets, the sound lets the side down. It’s erratic and likely to wake anyone in a 10-mile radius up. The background music and vocals are in constant war with one another as to which should be the loudest; in the end neither wins.
The pacing of John Payton’s production could be tighter too. It’s over-long and both acts end with restless mumbling from the younger members of the audience.