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REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty at Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime 2017 Sleeping Beauty.'Photo Simon Finlay Photography
Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime 2017 Sleeping Beauty.'Photo Simon Finlay Photography

The titular character may have been snoozing for a portion of the show, but this year’s Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime Sleeping Beauty was far from boring.

High-energy numbers, side-splitting laughs, and impressive use of props, this production is the perfect antidote to winter blues.

The classic fairytale of a young princess who pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, triggering a sleeping curse, is given an original twist.

This version is set in 1917 in Norbridge on the Verge, where Timothy Norbridge, played by Glenn Adamson, and Sleeping Beauty – known as Patience in this production – played by Elizabeth Carter reconcile after time apart and decide it’s time to tell their families of their love. Together, Adamson and Carter are utterly charming and vocally strong.

Also in lead roles are Stephen Godward as Lord Teddy Norbridge, Derek Griffiths (of Play School and Play Away fame) as Chortwood the butler, and Gillian Wright (of EastEnders fame) as the dowager, Aunt Vipera.

A mention also has to go to the Panto Babes from the Central School of Dancing and Performance Arts who drew many an ‘awwww’ from the audience.

But the real stars of the show were Ben Langley as Muddles Midges and Richard Gauntlett as Mrs Midges, the pantomime dame, who are the dream double act.

The moments with monks ringing bells, the water gardens and the Tardis were all particular highlights.

My nine-year-old nephew described the show as “epic”, and I think that says it all really.

Sleeping Beauty runs at Norwich Theatre Royal until Sunday, January 14 via 01603 630000 or theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk.

By Rebekah Chilvers

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