Sleeping Beauty, The Fairy’s Tale 

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We begin with some fun jaunty music from the orchestra pit which the audience is clapping along as everyone is so excited for the panto to start. With a sudden bang and a bit of pyrotechnics we are ‘Booooo’ing’ very loudly at the baddie of the night as The Evil Fairy (Beverly Callard) comes on stage and starts the tale.

The Good Fairy (Joe Tracini) runs on stage to interrupt and tells us the Sleeping Beauty story isn’t actually true, it’s a lie he’s had to tell all these years. He takes us back in time to when he wanted to become a fairy and the real story of Sleeping Beauty was actually his probation fairy job which didn’t actually go to plan… especially since he doesn’t actually possess any magic, furthermore has a tail instead of wings – what possibly could go wrong?!

It’s a good concept as it allows for a large variety of creative ideas to be explored and still be part of the overall story, as long as the basics are there it didn’t seem too random. Even the Dr Who theme music with dance to depict being imprisoned in Princess Rose’s (Millie O’Connell) mind were quite natural considering what else was going on.

There were some huge sets from castles to The Wishing House to The Evil Fairy’s lair and the use of a large projection screen for anything else. It took a little time for some of the scene changes however this was cleverly done with the action taking place front of stage to keep the audience distracted. Plenty of singing and dancing as you would expect, none the less there was proper choreographed dancing from the ensemble to further brighten up scenes and there were a few original songs as well as the pop songs – it was fun to see The Evil Fairy singing along to Kylie’s ‘Padam Padam’. Munch, the Canary dressed in Norwich FC colours, was a puppet controlled via Trevor Lin was a fun addition and added to the charm of the panto.

The Prince (Karl Queensborough) was a marvellous prince, sometimes the Prince in a panto can be a bit ‘vanilla’ as it’s not a big part, however this Prince had character, charisma and his humour shone through. He was also a brilliant hero as he had to fight a massive dragon!

The Queen (Queenie), obviously the perfect role for the Dame, the perennial Richard Gauntlett is always excellent and this must have been the record for the number of different and ridiculously fabulous costumes he had to change into.

The Good Fairy and Queenie had shout outs for every time they came on stage and if we were not loud enough we had to do it again. Plenty of ‘He’s behind you!’ and ‘Oh Nooo’s’ and of course the ‘Oh have to sing it again then’ and a sing along competition between the different sections of the audience. There was a lot of shouting and getting the audience involved, which the kids loved. It was a very family-friendly panto playing very safe but they still managed to inject lots of funny moments. 

The Good Fairy gave a monologue at the end with lots of positive energy given out to the audience about being good, being nice to everyone, and advice to deal with stressful situations in life. It had a strong moral tale to tell.

Photo Credits:
Richard Jarmy Photography – @richardjarmy
AJ Feather Photography
Laura Francis – @dinky_in_norfolk


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