Although we’re not actually on holiday this week, we pretended that nobody had school this morning and took ourselves over to St Helen’s to watch an early evening performance of their half term panto – Sleeping Beauty. Ben and Chloe have seen quite a few pantos over the last couple of years so are well versed in all the classic pantomime jokes and routines but for Amy, this was her first time. (Or at least the first time that she was old enough to sit through it and actually appreciate what she was watching!)
We hadn’t actually been to St Helen’s Theatre Royal before but it was easy enough to get to and we had no problem finding parking nearby which is always a bonus. The theatre itself is relatively small, seating an audience of up to 700. I must admit I do like a small theatre, so you can really see what’s going on on stage!
The traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty, whilst not typically one performed as a pantomime, was told through the usual mixture of music, comedy, slapstick and exaggerated costume. For us, Claire Sweeney made a fantastic “baddie” – as Chloe said she was “very pretty” and her costumes were spectacular. Tam Ryan played Chester the Jester and pulled a strong thread of comedy throughout the performance and Amy hasn’t stopped talking about the beautiful Princess Aurora played by Laura Gregory.
The show brought laughs a plenty for adults and children alike. And, as you would expect with a good panto, there was plenty of “adult” humour in there which had the mums and dads roaring with laughter whilst the children tried to work out what on earth could possibly be so funny!
I’m always enthralled by young children performing on stage and the little ones in this Regal Entertainments performance of Sleeping Beauty did not disappoint.
The highlight of the show for me though, was watching Amy’s little face as she laughed, shouted and got thoroughly involved with the events unfolding on stage. As soon as we left she asked “Can we go there again Mum?” which I think probably tells you all you need to know!
Sleeping Beauty runs at St Helen’s Theatre Royal until 29th October and tickets are available here starting at just £11.
*We attended the panto free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*