Sleeping Beauty

Date 25th February 2023
Society Newton Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society
Venue St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Vicky Dilworth
Musical Director Barry Dilworth
Choreographer Lisa Griffiths
Written By Alex Jackson


Author: Liz Hume-Dawson

What a lovely atmosphere as you walk into the foyer the younger members of the audience all excited at being at panto once again. With husband and wife team taking on the challenge - Vicky is the Director and Barry Dilworth the Musical Director. Barry using 'Good Morning Slumberville' (a la Good Morning Baltimore),’ I Go Walking In My Sleep’ and ‘Let’s Get Ready To Rumble’ - PJ & Duncan. Great choice.

Walking into the hall there is a projection set up with the logo of Sleeping Beauty. Various scenes are changed quickly and often the stage crew involved in the action and milking it for all their worth. Hilarious. Set design and build Jon Barham, Set painting Barry Dilworth and members of NADOS. Stage crew Beth Dilworth, Graham Scambler, Neeve Dilworth and Rachel Hogg. Stage Manager was Neil Sankey.

The costumes were impressive with the opening chorus in medieval costume and the dame had some great costumes (I may never recover from the black cat suit) The finale was just gorgeous with the colour scheme. Costumes by Gary Williams. Hair and make-up were all in keeping too. Make up by Barry Dilworth and Gary Williams. Lighting and sound all worked to enhance the scenes. I was sat at the back and sound was good, but I did miss some dialogue when the fairies were speaking. Lights by Mike Morris and sound by Jon Barham.

Vicky Dilworth knows what she wants out of this panto and we are treated to current trends and affairs. The Nurses strikes, various politicians mentioned and action moved on a pace, snooze you lose. Using entrances from on stage in front of stage and coming through the audience you were kept guessing. With lots of audience participation for young and old. The gauze was used effectively too and not just once.  The christening scene where they did the rugby pass using baby Aurora as the ball. (No babies were harmed during this manoeuvre) and then in slow motion very funny.

NADOS nippers are heavily involved in the panto and playing the young Aurora was Bridget Harrison, Young Avarice was played by Annabelle Rowley and Young Arthur played by Will McMillan. Harry Thompson played Prince Arthur and worked well with Scarlet Livesey who played Princess Aurora who gave a feisty performance - not just the token principal girl role. Lily Jaundrill played Muddles and was a genie-ar*e in the role with lots of energy and also worked well with the audience. Grace Fisher as Fairy Sprinkles-fairy in training worked well with the other fairies who protect Aurora. Jo Mallet played Fairy Starlight, Lisa Griffiths played Fairy Moonbeam and Jim McMillan who played Fairy Dust. Where do I start about Jim - he went from Gandalf to Rafiki from the Lion King. Fitted with comic teeth he must have had great fun playing this alternative fairy.

Emma Benson as Queen of Hearts and Matthew Swann as Old King Cole and adding in the Lord Farquaad character for him very funny. Jon Kennedy as Archbishop or ‘Archie’ again maybe they got a deal on teeth with funny teeth to add to his character. Again must have had a great time creating and playing this character. Leanne Barnes as Carabosse was suitably evil in her plotting and scheming to gain the crown. I Loved the ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and the choreography - with the cast dancing as if under as spell - very clever. Choreography by Lisa Griffiths. A mention to whoever was in the huge dragon costume that came through the audience for their moment of glory only to be killed by Princess Aurora.

Last but not least was Andrew Marsh as Nanny Nightnurse as I said earlier great outfits and head-gear and wigs. Fabulous rapport with the Audience and connection with the rest of the cast. He really brought a great energy onto the stage and the fun factor. Thank you for the roll call and being made to stand up and say ‘It’s Me’ (I think) - Excellent performance Andrew!

Congratulations cast, crew and committee on a great pantomime Sleeping Beauty and thank you for the thoughtfully themed hospitality for Matthew and myself.

Liz Hume-Dawson

D5 Rep