THE beautiful Princess Rose may sleep for a hundred years, but, conveniently, in the wonder-filled world of the fairy story, the ‘significant others’ in her life manage to last the time travel too!
Prince Philip survives to kiss her awake, and even her father has completed the extra century to see his charmed daughter wed to the handsome Prince!
The opening night for Malvern’s annual pantomime saw a full house enjoying a lively, pacy evening full of laughter and colour, despite the fact that Gillian Wright was not well enough to play the villainous Carabosse.
Anthony Williams stepped nobly into the vacated shoes and kept the show on the road very ably, and the momentum of the evening was well sustained.
When the evening was reaching its ‘happily ever after’ conclusion, we were invited to say what the evil fairy Carabosse’s punishment should be! A few vocal individuals called for a return of the death penalty, but as the Good Fairy (Rebecca Wheatley) pointed out , ‘this was pantomime’! Carabosse’s prompt conversion to goodness was a more appropriate resolution and we could all celebrate!
As ever the entertainment does not lie in the simple and charming plot: the evening is enlivened with puns, verbal and visual humour, the pranks of ‘Silly Billy’, the substantial Nanny Glucose as the exuberant pantomime dame, along with the visual elements of the evening.
The use of projection and gauze, as well as the sets, whether solid or painted cloths, was enhanced by the outstanding costume design. Some of the principals must have had some rushed changes as the number of lavish and bright costumes provided a feast to complement the music, the songs and the dances.
The principal singers were strong, if in some cases a trifle shrill; the duets sung by the Prince and Princess were strong and well delivered. It is always good to have a live band. The depiction of the time travel through the one hundred years was stunning.
The pace of the evening was excellent: the gags were quick-fire and the switch between scenes crisp.
In terms of the performances of the cast, it was a great team. Amy Thompson (Sleeping Beauty) and David Barrett (the Prince) had all the requisite charm. The banter and farcing around by Chris Pizzey (Silly Billy) and Quinn Patrick (Nanny Glucose) led the inevitable audience participation: they established a brilliant rapport with the local audience.
There were numerous local allusions and contemporary comments of a gently political nature, all adding to the good fun. Youthful local dancers added charm to the atmosphere as well.
This exemplifies what pantomime is all about. The show was packed with ideas, gags and creativity, the audience left feeling thoroughly rewarded and entertained – a fun show for all the family. Christmas is here! To 08-01-17