Reviewed by Louise Watts
It is the time of year when the only thing worth watching at the theatre involves dodgy jokes, silly songs and men dressed up as flamboyant women… that is right, it is December and it is pantomime season!
Last evening (21 December), I attended The Capitol theatre in Horsham to see Sleeping Beauty. We all know the story of the beautiful princess who falls under a spell after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. She falls asleep for 100 years and can only be woken by loves true kiss, which comes in the form of a Prince. In true panto style, you have to add comedy and cheese to the story and then you get a show. My favourite thing about pantomime is that you will never see the same show twice. I love ad libs and watching the cast truly enjoying themselves and letting themselves go that little bit more than is acceptable in any other show throughout the year.
This panto was no different. There were several highly amusing incidents such as when Nurse Nora (Hywel Dowsell) enters the stage with his dress tucked into his tights and without his wig… you only get this in panto!
The show was incredible from the start and just got better and better. They had a very talented cast including Nicola Hume (Heart Sussex) who played Fairy Good Heart and my personal favourite Nicole Faraday who played the evil fairy Carabosse. Her side kick came in the form of Herman the Henchman (Ben Ofoedu) who came into his own during the time machines visit to the 1990’s – so many memories reignited. The comic of the evening was Lester the Jester played by James Fletcher from Hollyoaks who was absolutely outstanding and had the audience participating brilliantly. The other shining star for me tonight was one of the ensemble dancers called Ronnie Lee. He just had that something extra that you cannot quite put your finger on but was a delight to see. There was comedy and cheese galore – the perfect recipe for the perfect panto! You could not wait to see what would come next.
The set was fantastic, pure fairy-tale with lots of sparkles to add the Christmas feeling. Set changes were smooth and went uneventfully.
The Capitol theatre is a lovely venue with a capacity of around 400. There is not a bad seat in the house and the seats are lovely and comfortable. There are various facilities to buy drinks and snacks including a bar, coffee shop and a tuck shop. The staff are always friendly and happy to help in any way they can. There are several car parks within a couple of minutes’ walk from the theatre, many of which are free after 5pm, so parking is easy.
I would thoroughly recommend this wonderful performance of Sleeping Beauty to anybody regardless of whether they have kids or not. It is fun and appropriate for people aged 0 – 100 and if you have not booked to see a panto this year, then get down to The Capitol and reserve your seat as a matter of priority! Come on, you know you want to!
Tickets cost from £22.50 to£23.50 (booking fees may apply).
Sleeping Beauty is at The Capitol in Horsham from 14 December 2018 to 6 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thecapitolhorsham.com or call the box office on 01403 750220.
The Capitol Horsham, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RG | 01403 750220