Sunday, May 26

Sleeping Beauty – Sheffield Lyceum

Sheffield Theatres and Evolution Pantomimes have a rich reputation for their pantomimes, and this year’s edition is once again Damian Williams and his cohort on their finest form. Superbly directed by Paul Hendy, this is a tour-de-force of panto, and ultimately panto at its finest.

Titular character Hannah Everest holds the role very well and is a very stable anchor for both the narrative and comedy within. The same can be said for her royal romantic counterpart played by Dominic Sibanda, who brings an appropriately friendly and fun sensibility to his role whilst playing the melodrama effectively. Janine Duvitski’s Fairy Moonbeam is at her best deployed in comedic ensemble sections, and Lucas Rush’s evil Carabosse delves delightfully into devilishly camp malevolence. Ben Thornton’s excitable and joyful Jangles sees him demonstrate a great performative intellect for the role. Damian Williams’ Nurse Nelly is a phenomenon to say the least.

The choreography by Sarah Langley is absolutely remarkable in places. A fine balance of simple but effective routines peppered with some much more complex and sophisticated work makes for extremely entertaining an admirable work, performed with great confidence and style by villagers Serafina Barbieri, Livvy Robinson, Hannah Victoria-Bennett, Nathan Tofts, Ryan Toussaint and Jack Warren. Terry Parsons’ set is arguably understated for panto, but not by any means mediocre – it actually serves the show very well, particularly for the more memorable moments that shan’t be spoiled here. The light and sound design are predictably spectacular for panto but extremely effective in establishing tone and changing the world. Musical Director James Harrison and the band do a stellar job, their more direct involvement in the show is something that is and will continue to be welcomed by audiences. A special mention also has to be given to the ‘Dragon Keepers’ in the form of fire-manipulating extraordinaires Two Cheeky Monkeys.

Sleeping Beauty runs at the Sheffield Lyceum until 3rd January 2022. For panto at its biggest, best and funniest, grab tickets whilst you still can!

Reviewer: Louis Thompson

Reviewed: 7th December 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★