Sleeping Beauty

Date 2nd April 2022
Society Inkberrow Players
Venue Inkberrow Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Keith Potts
Musical Director Margaret Ballard
Written By Stephen Duckham


Author: Chris Davies

As the temperature dropped on a clear night at Inkberrow Village Hall, there was a warm welcome waiting inside from members of the Inkberrow Players.  Inkberrow’s production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was postponed from January due to Covid concerns, and in a way I’m glad it was, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have seen it!  This was the second play I’ve seen as a newly-minted NODA Regional Representative, and it provided a great night of entertainment.  Most of the expected panto traditions were present and correct (with the exception of ‘oh no it isn’t/oh yes it is’ – I was itching to shout that out but didn’t want to put anyone off!) and the audience certainly responded to the efforts of the players.

There were some strong performances amongst the cast.  Malcolm McGillivray’s Barney, the Court Jester, formed an effective partnership with John Bailey’s sonorous-voiced Dame Nanny Nora; Gary and Barbara Clubley worked well together (as might be expected!) as the double act of King Septimus and Queen Sybil; and Becca Thompson gave us a gothic-looking Carabosse with a cut-glass accent.  Barney and the Dame provided the lion’s share of the audience interaction, leading us well in the traditional sing-along.  It would have been nice to have seen others take the chance for a bit of banter with the crowd as well. 

Anna Harvey was a sweet and self-assured Princess Aurora, singing a charming (and nicely lit) solo in the second half.  Sarah Young’s Prince Michael also sang well, particularly on an affecting ‘Till There Was You’; although there was a distinct lack of thigh slapping for a Principal Boy!  Special mention also to David Timson, who showed off a very funny upper-class accent as Prince Lionel, one of Aurora’s unsuccessful suitors.  Finally, a well done to Harriet Brazier who played the Fairy Queen charmingly.  

The Chorus delivered some stately choreography in the early musical numbers, before letting their hair down to great effect during ‘Let’s Have a Party’.

The colourful, Georgian style costumes worked well, although some of the wigs could have done with a bit of attention (this was the third performance, so perhaps we can put it down to wear and tear!)  Scenery was provided by a succession of very effective painted backdrops – the forest was especially good, and Carabosse’s ‘Lair, Sweet Lair’ provided a nice chuckle.  However, the time taken to reset the stage between scenes led to some lengthy pauses – maybe these could have been covered by moving the songs or business that concluded most of the scenes onto the apron?  I was certainly very familiar with the first few bars of the ‘Harry Potter’ theme tune by the end of the night! 

Well done to all at Inkberrow Players for producing a fine show.  If the applause at the end of the night is anything to go by, the rest of the audience enjoyed it as much as I did!  I look forward to seeing you again in the future.