Sleeping Beauty

Lowestoft Players at the Marina Theatre

Everyone loves panto, and Saturday night was no exception.

It was a night of special effects, with strobe lighting, pyrotechnics and loud bangs, during the production of Sleeping Beauty by the popular amateur dramatic group The Lowestoft Players.

The show opened late, and a huge cheer and applause followed the curtain as it was finally raised on the opening scene of a ballerina dancing around a golden spinning wheel in the middle of a wood.

A kind of delicious shiver was felt as Atrocia (Deanne Dickson) appeared, heralded by an ear- splitting explosion as she made her vow of vengeance on Queen Passionella (Nicholas Garrod) and King Cedric (Maurice Garrod) for failing to invite her to their baby daughter's christening.

There were some truly funny moments with some skilful ad-libbing from Queen Passionella – or Queen P, as she insisted her subjects (the audience) call her. Nick Garrod made her sound like a cross between an Eastender and Frankie Howard, apart from the slapstick scene in the second half when Queen P mysteriously acquired a Yorkshire accent for a while.

Stephen Wilson's set design was excellent and the wardrobe department had worked hard on the costumes, especially the several changes required by Queen P.

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Sadly, the company was let down again by poor sound support. You were lucky, if you knew the words to many of the songs, because at least you could follow the tune, and speech also tended to sound muffled at times.

On the whole, though, great family entertainment.

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