25th January 2018
The Lyric Theatre, Dinnington
Type of Production
Courtney Smith, assisted by Mark Wareing
Kirstie Turnbull, Catherine Enos, Julie Turner & Jacqui Turner
Author: Les Smith
Everyone needs something to lift them out of the winter blues and what better way than to spend an evening watching a great panto with plenty of laughter for everyone in the audience. The classic tale of Sleeping Beauty was brought to life at The Lyric Theatre this week by Dinnington AOS and from the start it was a sure fire hit with everyone there on the night I went to see it.
The scene opened with a great number from The Julie Turner Stage Academy Dancers who it was obvious had all been put through their paces to ensure a first class performance, the dancers were followed by the chorus who again delivered a great opening number which although was very good I did think it was a little long considering the dancers had just completed their opening number.
Continuing on after the opening the main characters as usual introduced themselves, not that any of them needed any introduction, they were all hard and fast regulars who were all loved by the audience.
In the character of Good Fairy Lilac was Natasha Simpson who not only looked lovely she also sounded great especially when she was putting the characters to sleep to her singing Hushabye Mountain from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, to say it was beautiful is an understatement. On the other side of the stage to bring the evil side of the story was Samantha Smedley as Bad Witch Hazel and she really was so bad, or should that be good, in this role that she also was excellent.
Bringing the laughter to the plot was once again Ashley Booker as Muddles, Ashley is no stranger to this part and the audience, young or old love him especially when he brought the character home by using a broad Yorkshire accent, joining Ashley to once again add to the humour was Jonny Green as Nurse Dotty Dettol. Jonny managed to be more and more outrageous each time he entered the stage not only with his outfits but also in his characterisation which is always first rate.
As King Cactus and Queen Marigold both Mark Wareing and Nikki Potton were superb and both were able to bring their respective character to life. The King needs someone to do his bidding so he engages two characters who seem to have a little less intelligence than the rest of the characters, step in Paul Raymond and Scott Walker as Fetch and Carrie who later become the King’s PANTIES, you will have to read the script to decipher that one! Both Paul and Scott were very funny in these parts and delivered the lines and action with ease.
Joining Good Fairy Lilac were four more little fairies, Fairy Red, Fairy Yellow, Fairy Green and Fairy Blue all played expertly by Hannah Poole, Erin Street, Evie Bounds and Sophia Stenson respectively, the only problem we had was that all the other characters were using mics resulting in when the young fairies spoke it was difficult to hear them, a problem when not everyone uses a mic on stage. The same thing happened when Samantha Smedley was joined on stage by two others to sing, unfortunately only Samantha had a mic and therefore was the only one to be heard.
As e all know Sleeping Beauty starts off the panto as a baby and we see the various stages of her life up to her pricking her finger on the spinning wheel, supplied by Bad Fairy Witch Hazel, and being woken up by the handsome Prince. The part of Princess Rose was in the more than capable hands of Meg Moss who looked and sounded every bit the part of a beautiful princess, playing opposite her as Prince Alexis and later Prince Alexander was Hannah Wall who again was superb looking every bit the principal boy. Meg and Hannah had some lovely scenes together in which they were both able to shine and deliver some really great songs and dialogue.
This was Courtney Smith’s first attempt at directing and she made an excellent job of it putting some really nice touches such as the magic of changing the invitation from the good fairy to the bad witch. Many congratulations to everyone involved, especially Courtney Smith who I have mentioned as Director, Mark Wareing as Asst. Director, Jonathan Wilby as MD, Kirstie Turnbull as the society choreographer assisted by Cat Enos, and Jacqui Turner and Julie Turner from the Julie Turner Stage Academy.