SLEEPING BEAUTY, SALISBURY PLAYHOUSE
WITH oodles of traditional pantomime fun, hilarious costumes and one of the best dames ever to don a pinny, Sleeping Beauty is an absolutely treat.
It might be an unusual talent but Kieran Buckeridge is a truly gifted dame, capable of reducing adults and children alike to fits of giggles.
As Dame Nanny Fanny, his interaction with the audience was spot on and, sporting an array of outlandish outfits, he led this experienced cast through all the panto fun you would expect, while not losing track of the traditional fairytale.
Director Joyce Branagh has written a book called Creating Pantomime and her understanding of her art shines through in this show.
There’s lots of participation to keep the young audience busy, plenty of catchy tunes, a baddie who is dramatic rather than menacing and doesn’t reduce kids to tears, and lots of action and adventure.
With a superhero scene for the boys, plenty of fairy magic for the girls and a genuinely funny custard pie moment that had them all in stitches, you could sense the adults getting caught up in the magic because their children were having so much fun.
The volume with which Wiggerly Woo was belted out by the audience at the end proved that everyone was entering into the spirit of the occasion.
Sophia Ragavelas gave a spirited performance as the feisty yet beautiful Princess Rose and Luke Kempner was well cast as her dishy Prince Dylan from the 1960s.
They both gave strong vocal performances, as did Anna Stolli, whose powerful voice was well suited for the villain Belladonna Bindweed.
Michael Imerson made a lively Billy – silly jokes and all – and local actor Tim Treslove was lots of fun as the bumbling King Meadowsweet.
The dainty Ella Vale provided sparkle as Fairy Flax and the supporting chorus was well used for the dance routines, big musical numbers and puppetry.
The sets look fantastic and the Playhouse provides the perfect atmosphere for this feast of festive fun.