Qdos Entertainment brings Sleeping Beauty – The Pantomime of your Dreams to the Regent Theatre in Hanley [Stoke on Trent]. It is written by Alan McHugh and Directed by Christian Patterson with additional material also written by Christian too.
In a nutshell, Sleeping Beauty is a fairy tale about a princess [Beauty] who is pursued by an evil wicked fairy during her birthday celebration preparations and eventually she is lured into pricking her finger on the spinning wheel cursed by the Fairy [Carabosse] herself. The spinning wheel contained a lethal poison that puts Princess Beauty to sleep for 100 Days, only to be awoken by a true prince’s kiss. The action is mainly centred in and around The Royal Palace and The Forbidden Forest.
The production features song classics such as ‘Wake me up before you Go Go’ – ‘I can’t fight this feeling anymore’, ‘I want to break free’ – as well as a good helping of DJ Otzi’s ‘Hey Hey Baby [Ooh Aah]’. Locally born Jonathan Wilkes returns to the Regent for a fourteenth year as ‘Muddles’ whilst Welshman Christian Patterson makes 2019 his eleventh pantomime appearance playing ‘Fanny the Nanny’. Kai Owen plays the role of ‘King Cyril of Stokey’ – Vivienne Parry plays ‘Carabosse the Wicked Fairy’, Naomi Slights ‘Princess Beauty’ and Delme Thomas ‘Chi-Chi – The Spirit of Stoke’.
The production is awash with colour and brilliant costumes. The set is as sparkling as the performances and choreography faultless. Baddeley Green born Wilkes greets the cheering audience each time with his ‘Eye up Me Duck’ catchphrase to which audience replies ‘Eye up muddles’.
Patterson’s ‘Fanny the Nanny’ costumes are extravagant and hilarious. The ‘King of Stokey’s’ Lament which includes every village and town that makes up the City of Stoke is well written and energetically performed at increasing speed. Every time Carabosse the ‘Wicked Fairy’ takes to the stage, she is met by a chorus of boos and hisses from the children and adults alike in the audience. Chi-Chi ‘The Spirit of Stoke’ is as camp as I have ever seen and his lines are extremely well written. They are packed full of double entendres and adult humour for the older audience member’s pleasure
My personal feeling is that some of the on-stage pyrotechnics and puppetry might be a little too frightening for very young children as well as the elderly or easily startled.
I have not been to see a pantomime for well over thirty-five years and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The costumes, choreography and humour are as good as anything I have ever seen. It’s so good that a “Local Lad “enjoys performing to a local audience. There are even references to local football teams Port Vale and Stoke City and Jonathan performs all his own stunts [saying no more on that one or I will spoil your enjoyment]. I particularly enjoyed the Game – Hunt Down the ‘Five Toilet Rolls’ by King Cyril of Stokey.
Sleeping Beauty at the Regent Theatre is a ‘Beauty’ of a Pantomime which runs from Friday the 13th of December 2019 through to January the 05th 2020. Showtime is 7.00pm and finishes at 9.25pm approx including a 15 minute Interval. Tickets are available from ATGTickets.com/Stoke or by calling 0844 871 7649.