Sleeping Beauty, Gorleston Pavilion review: ‘The show never loses its shine’

Gorleston sleeping beauty

Gorleston sleeping beauty - Credit: Archant

Sleeping Beauty opens with a sparkle and never loses its shine as a really strong cast give their very best to a production blending tradition with a modern twist.

Gorleston sleeping beauty

Gorleston sleeping beauty - Credit: Archant

This may be a thin panto plot but it still keeps the action going throughout.

As always panto and the Edwardian Pavilion are made for each other with its toy theatre stage all warmly and inventively lit providing an ideal setting for simple but effective scenery and colourful costumes.

The music recorded by David Carter gives something for everyone with some really impressive voices to deliver it well while Jayne King's dancers and choreography deserves credit especially for the tap dancing number.

Matthew Siveter comes into his own as the dame, very much a bloke in a frock sparing us any smutty embarrassment; the Carmen Miranda outfit is a highlight of the show.

Eloise Hare is a fresh good fairy with an outstanding voice while Helen McDermott this year steps in to the regal role of Old Queen Cole always enlivening the stage.

READ MORE: Review: Norwich Theatre Royal's pantomime, AladdinSteven Fawell another regular is a safe pair of hands in the jester role; Bethan Treglohan is ideal as the princess while Thomas Holland is a real star doubling as a very convincing evil baddy Carabosse and the handsome prince charming.

It's the 12th year that Helen McDermott and Royal Shakespeare actor Des Barrit have produced this Gorleston pantomime.

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Des writes the script was unable to direct so the very able and experienced local Jeannie Kinkaid stepped in, drawing on his ideas and injecting plenty of pace and energy.

All the traditions were in evidence – the 'it's behind you' ghost scene especially played for all it was worth – and Barrit's specially composed words for the audience singalong were very much his handiwork, carefully linking the whole plot together.

An enjoyable couple of hours.