Allan Stewart and Grant Stott star in the King’s Theatre Panto as Queen May and Carabosse. with Jordan Young as Muddles; Sia Dauda as Princess Beauty, Nicola Meehan as The Good Fairy and Clare Gray as Narcissa. It was written by Alan McHugh and directed by Ed Curtis.
The programme says that production company Crossroads Pantomimes has spent £1.5 million on sets and costumes (which necessitated 20 makers) for this year’s London Palladium pantomime, which will be seen in cities such as Birmingham, Wimbledon and Bristol in the years to follow. In the King’s Theatre’s Sleeping Beauty the budget is definitely on show through its multicoloured costumes (by Mike Coltman), lavish sets (designed by Ian Westbrook) and the odd Giant Flying Vampire Bat, motorcycle and pyrotechnics (special effects by The Twins FX).
The cast is on top form. Many of them are veterans such as Allan Stewart and Grant Stott (it’s the former’s 31st, a record, and the latter has been doing them since 1993) and the energy is uniformly high, the improvisation fast and it always feels like everyone is having a great time, including the audience.
In many ways pantomimes could be described as reviewer-proof. One does not go to them for the plotting, originality, highbrow humour or nuanced performances. The King’s Theatre has been doing these for 115 years and it is easy to see why. Impeccably staged and with money obviously behind it, the King’s Theatre Sleeping Beauty is both exactly what you would expect and exactly what is needed, as part of your traditional Christmas celebrations.
Sleeping Beauty continues at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre until 16th January 2022 – https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/sleeping-beauty-2021
Reviewer: Oliver Giggins
Reviewed: 1st December 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★