Love London Love Culture paid another visit to the New Victoria Theatre in Woking to see Sleeping Beauty – this time with Anita Dobson as the evil fairy Malevolence. 

This much loved fairy tale makes a great pantomime as this production at the New Victoria Theatre proves.

Princess Beauty (Carla Nella) is about to turn 18 but is unaware of the curse that Malevolence (Anita Dobson) has placed upon her: if she touches a spinning wheel then she will die – or thanks to the Lilac Fairy fall into a deep sleep for 100 years unless  true love’s first kiss saves her.

There is plenty of booing and audience interaction to make even the adults joining in enthusiastically. One such example is the alternative version of the song ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ – which does have everybody in stitches with its references to toilet rolls and smelly socks.

Anita Dobson takes over the role of Malevolence from Katie Price and is delightfully comical as the character – making the most of every line and not afraid to make a fool of herself on stage with the funny faces and child like temper tantrums.

Written by Eric Potts and directed by Ian Talbot the production is slick and energetic, helped by fantastic performances – not just Dobson, but Simon Nehan as Nurse Molly Coddle and Alan Committie adding to the joy and fun of the show.

Yes it has to be said there is a different atmosphere in comparison with Katie Price’s turn in the production – slightly less awkward and more emphasis on Malevolence. But because they approached the role in different ways, it means that overall vibe of the production takes on a whole new different meaning. With Dobson in the role, you get a villain that is laughable with a hint of sinister, whereas with Price it was more of a case of a vain fairy, who becomes increasingly jealous of beauty as she gets older.

There is a great range of pop songs used throughout – including Ed Sheeran and Aerosmith to help convey what’s happening in the story and get the audience singing along in places.

While some of the jokes might go over the younger members of the audience’s heads, the production gets the balance perfect in terms of humour that is suitable for both adults and children.

There is plenty of glitter and glamour to be found in the production – particularly in the case of Nurse Molly Coddle’s outfit choices and is a lot of fun to watch from beginning to end in this well put together production.

Sleeping Beauty is on at the New Victoria Theatre Woking until the 10th January 2016. To book tickets visit ATG tickets.



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