Panto Review: Sleeping Beauty, Harrogate Theatre

Sleeping Beauty - Harrogate Theatre

Sleeping Beauty - Harrogate Theatre - Credit: Archant

Jo Haywood takes in Sleeping Beauty at the Harrogate Theatre

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there were seven silly people doing very silly things.

The bijou cast of principal characters in Harrogate Theatre’s panto – Sleeping Beauty – are backed by a small band of young dancers and two musicians in the pit, but they still manage to fill the stage with fun, noise, laughter and general daftness.

Tim Stedman, a stalwart of the local panto scene starring in his 14th Harrogate show, sets a suitably tittery tone as Silly Sidney, creasing the audience with laughter with a series of gigglesome gags and a nice line in improvised comebacks.

He’s ably assisted in his quest to make the good people of Harrogate hoot by Chris Clarkson as Dame Nanny Annie Nidderdale (his/her incredibly talented costume designer deserves a medal for creating dresses that look like a suit of armour, a giant wedding cake and Brimham Rocks); Steve Huison as the gloriously gurning King Keith; Katy Dean as principal boy Tom Nidderdale; Philip Stewart as Wizard Roy (a great impression of Roy Wood of ‘I wish it could be Christmas’ fame); Amy Walsh as the sleepy heroine Princess Aurora; and Lindsay Scigliano as wicked wand-waver Carabosse.

The script, though a little long (you could happily cut 20 minutes), is original and packed with local jokes that actually work (without liberal use of a shoe-horn), the songs are contemporary and delivered with tuneful verve and the performances are engaging, professional and, in a word, panto-tastic.

Until January 12th

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