Sleeping Beauty

Date 28th November 2013
Society Riding Mill Drama Club
Venue Riding Mill Parish Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Eileen Davidson
Musical Director Michael Pritchard


Author: Jim Graham

Because it is the Christmas season I arrived at the venue expecting to watch a very traditional Pantomime.  How wrong I was.  This production was from the Classic Fairytales by Charles Way – an author specialising in work for young children.  This play was cast with adults with the plot based on the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty with a rather nice Celtic touch to it.  Opening introductions were by Hazel Osmond, as Bronwen, the good witch, presiding over activities.  Bronwen spoke clearly, illustrating the story line well.  Anne Laurence, as Modron, the bad witch, was suitably evil, and was appropriately costumed although a little bit more “evil” makeup could have been used.  Both Hazel and Anne worked well collectively, giving good performances that held the show together. 

Mike Smith (King Peredur) injected some humour and gave a good performance as you would expect from a stalwart of the Drama Club.  He was partnered by Frances Holmes (Queen Guinevere).  They were dramatic, insisting that all needles be banished to protect their daughter Briar Rose from being harmed until her 18th birthday.  Kate Osmond, as the beautiful Briar Rose, had the audience in her hand – particularly when the wicked witch Modron allowed her to use the only spinning wheel in the kingdom.  Nathan Larkin (Prince Oswain ) gave a polished performance, particularly when battling his way through the forest to rescue Briar Rose.

The production was very imaginative, with a good set built and painted by the in-house team.  Very appropriate costumes were provided by Wardrobe Mistress Judy Wilthew with support from North East Costumes.  Sound, lighting and television inserts were handled in-house and contributed greatly to the production.

I was particularly impressed by the seven piece orchestra with all the players obviously being very talented young musicians.   I hope the Society can retain them for future shows.  Well done.