Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
I brought my children to watch Sleeping Beauty at the St. Helens Theatre Royal. It’s a theatre that we’ve been visiting for many years and we always look forward to the pantomimes here. There is always a lovely family atmosphere and the staff are very helpful and friendly. It’s such an easy theatre to visit, with nearby parking and very close to local bus and train links.
Having visited so many times, I wondered if the children wouldn’t find it as exciting, but I have to say it was better than ever! St Helens have done an amazing job with this production; telling the classic story of the beautiful Princess Aurora (played by Mia Molloy), adored in her Kingdom, especially by her parents the King (played by Warren Donnelly from Benidorm fame) and Queen (played by Si Foster) along with her appointed protector Chester the Jester (played by Lewis Devine). Princess Aurora is looking forward to her 18th birthday and has just met the love of her life, Prince George (played by James Lacey), life could not be better for the Princess!
However, the re-appearance of the evil Fairy Carabosse (played by Samantha Palin), who, holding an old grudge comes to see her 18-year-old curse unfold and make sure that nothing gets in her way. Poor Aurora is lured up to a tower in the castle where she pricks her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel and falls into an eternal sleep from which no one can wake her, apart from her true love Prince George.
Her parents, protector and the Prince must work together to find a way to awaken the princess, but will it be possible against Carabosse’ constant attempts to do everything in her power to stop them.
The story was told wonderfully by an excellent cast, who were obviously having just as much fun as the audience. Chester the Jester, as always, kept the audience, especially the children, in fits of laughter with his slap-stick humour and contagious energy. It really was a laugh a minute. There were jokes for the parents as well as the kids. This has the feel of good old-fashioned panto; with all the heckling and interaction with the audience, but St. Helens have kept it fresh at the same time with lots of current references and jokes.
The costumes were just superb, as my daughter kept whispering to me – “ooh mum I like that dress” and the dancers were so lovely to watch with lots of young dancers in the crew, who were equally as talented.
If you haven’t visited St. Helens Theatre Royal yet to experience one of their pantomimes, get your tickets now, there’s still time as the show runs until 29th October. It’s a must-have experience for any child. St. Helens have got the balance just right and will give you an unforgettable experience. In my opinion they’ve really stepped it up this year and I enjoyed every minute! When your kids leave asking to come back to the next panto, it’s a sure sign that you are getting the whole panto experience just as it should be! It’s an absolute 5/5 for a brilliant fun family experience.
Tickets cost from £13 (booking fees may apply).
Sleeping Beauty is at the St. Helens Theatre Royal from 19-29 October 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ