The New Victoria Theatre has gone all out for their 2015 pantomime -filled with all those essential ingredients that makes pantomimes great but with a little more sparkle (and glitter) than usual.
The trick with any pantomime is to get the right balance of humour to suit everybody and with Sleeping Beauty , the New Victoria Theatre just about gets that balance right.
Opening with fantastically energetic version of ‘Celebration’, the show takes a few minutes to settle down and not get too carried away, that initially it seems a bit all over the place.
However, that soon changes as the audience is drawn into the story that is sharp and written so well by Eric Potts – it doesn’t take long to get into the spirit of things. This is helped by the wonderful performances of Alan Committie as Chester the Jester and Simon Nehan as Nurse Molly Coddle – both sharp with their comic timing and able to draw out a giggle from the most sombre of people in the audience.
There are so many standout moments – whether it is lines such as ‘Last one over the drawbridge is a Donald Trump supporter’ or songs such as the alternative version of the song ’12 days of Christmas’ involving five toilet rolls – there is something for everyone to take away and remember about this pantomime.
So what of Katie Price’s performance as Malevolence? Well despite all the negative criticism that I have read from people about not coming to see the show because she was in it – the theatre was relatively packed and people did genuinely seem to enjoy her performance. Although in some places she did seem a little bit tense, she really did seem to get into the spirit of things – able to make jokes about herself and even encouraging the audience to boo at her even more, so it was a good performance from her.
As for Carla Nella as Beauty and Ben Faulks as Prince Basil of Tarragon, both were on great vocal form during their songs and both were charming and believable performances on stage that it is impossible for audiences not to warm to them.
Although the dance sequences were fantastic, occasionally they went on for slightly too long as I could see some of the audience members (particularly the younger ones) getting a bit fidgety in places as the story moves with great pace and speed that perhaps things need to be slowed down in places.
With plenty of magic (the special effects towards the end of the show were spectacular and convincing) and glitter it certainly seems as though director Ian Talbot has gone all out to provide great family entertainment for the festive season.
It is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours and will certainly make you laugh from beginning to end – whether you want to or not!
Sleeping Beauty is on at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until the 10th January 2016. Katie Price appears as the wicked fairy until the 27th December, with Anita Dobson doing the rest of the run as the wicked fairy. To book tickets visit ATG tickets .