The very idea of bringing to stage a pantomime classic such as Sleeping Beauty, adapting it to be aimed at adults, AND then performing it in drag is daring, and just crazy enough that it works flawlessly. Sleeping Beauty brings the best of each style and delivers THE pantomime for adults. Furthermore the story (written by Miss Mopp) has been updated and expanded to both surprise and satisfy the audience, without changing the core elements.
Excellently directed by Chris Clegg, the cast are at the top of their game. Kitty Scott Claus does a splendid job as Princess Beauty, evoking laughter at the most random of scenes and being incredible relatable. Victoria Scone as the antagonistic Carabosse is hilarious, and has a dominating stage presence and is a joy to a watch. Michael Marouli as Fairy Fabulous shines on stage and helps to focus the story and becomes the audience's main point of contact.
It is Kate Butch as Queen Camilla who is the show's stand out performer, bringing a surprisingly regal touch to the chaotic show. From picking on audience members, to corpsing on stage with laughter, and calling out the hypocrisy in politics and standing up for trans rights, she steals the show whenever on stage. The ensemble compromised of Mukeni Nel and Zach Parkin were particularly brilliant, bringing fluidity and grace to their impressive choreography, both as back up dancers and as "minions". Ophelia Love as Villager 4 does an incredible and her antics to get a solo are hilarious to watch.
The set and props are fairly minimal, yet this never deters from the show. In fact it helps with a playful jab at theatre magic, and the audience are delighted to be swept away from the glittering sets and focus instead on the kings, queens, princes and princesses on stage. However a shoutout to the air mattress, Disney Princess Quilt and the tiny spinning wheel as props.
This pantomime includes a number of musical moments, parodying or adapting popular and Christmas songs. The cast are incredibly talented and this is further elevated with stunning choreography. Ophelia Love's solo and Victoria Scone's songs stand out with a darker tone and powerful vocals, and really embrace the theatricality on stage. However, the standout song is doubtlessly a rather adult rendition of "Twelve Days of Christmas", wherein the entire cast are struggling to keep up to the song and choreography, and are disastrously entertaining.
The show is filled with all of the usual pantomime elements that we know and love, with the added sexual innuendo and a messy storyline, and is guaranteed to leave you gasping for breath from laughter. With an added discussion about consent and Princess Beauty confronting Carbosse, this production of Sleeping Beauty is for this generation and does so without seeming forced or preachy.
Sleeping Beauty is a campy pantomime that packs a punch with a talented cast, that you will wish could last a hundred years. Currently playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre until the 31st of January, you can find more information and tickets here.
AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review