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Review: Sleeping Beauty, Alive Corn Exchange, King's Lynn

PUBLISHED: 14:20 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 11 December 2018

Sleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew Usher

Sleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew Usher

Matthew Usher

The audience filters in as curtain up draws closer and King's Lynn's Alive Corn Exchange is filled to the rafters with excitable adults and children alike.

Sleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew UsherSleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew Usher

Then BOOF! A blue and silver fairy appears in a puff of smoke, speaking in rhyme and advising the audience that she has a tendency to nod off, and asks that if she sleeps, scream “WAKEY WAKEY”.

With a blow of her magic trumpet wand, the music starts, the rows in front are a sea of bobbing heads , flailing arms and cheers as the show kicks off.

Sleeping Beauty keeps the audience clapping, singing, boo-ing and yelling “behind you, behind you” for more than two hours.

Slapstick, songs and the odd surprise would have even Mr Grinch filled with laughter and Christmas spirit.

Sleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew UsherSleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew Usher

Chester the Jester (Scott Cripps) had the audience in stitches with a unique DJ set and the infamous ‘dad jokes’ that panto is known for.

Lord Chamberlain (KL.FM967 Radio’s “Posh” Charles Dennett) spends the show with many different jobs titles as he tells at the start he was “Lord Chamberlain last year.”

Chart topping songs from recent to the 1950s with a mix of Disney tunes and musical numbers that had everyone tapping their toes.

Act One ends with an evil rendition of Uptown Funk but the resident baddie- Carabosse (Victoria Bush) and the Princess Belle (Olivia Arnold) falling asleep, her fate seemingly sealed.

Sleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew UsherSleeping Beauty panto at the King's Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Matthew Usher

Ice creams still in hand as the lights go down, and Fairy Fortywinks bursts on stage playing her trumpet, in vein, to wake the Princess up.

King Clarence (Paul Bentley) luckily remembers he has a special time machine that has had “13 careful owners and is rather spacious in the inside” and off go our fearless heroes 100 years in the future to save Princess Belle.

Cue evil lair, dragons, axes, ghosts and “well, we’ll have to do it again then won’t we wooooo” romantic duets and loves true kiss, all’s well that ends well with a Greatest Showman melody finale.

Sleeping Beauty is on at the Alive Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn, until Sunday, December 31, with two performances most days. Tickets (£15 - £21.50) via here or 01553 764864.

Emily Prince

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