Sleeping Beauty

Date 6th December 2023
Society Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre (CAST)
Venue Colnbrook Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Becky Poulton and Simon White
Choreographer Lauren Sivewright
Producer Becky Poulton and Simon White
Written By Ben Crocker


Author: Nick Humby

CAST is an amateur society that seems to embrace and connect with its local community with a vibrant academy of young performers and an enthusiastic cast who clearly simply want the fun of performing in front of an audience. It was a privilege to join them for their first night of the annual pantomime with invited guests from the local care homes and local refugees to not only experience pantomime but also enjoy a free tea and biscuit at the interval and then to celebrate their success with their last academy show. If the measure of success of a show is the reaction from the audience, then the night was very successful as even though some may have been experiencing their first pantomime in a second language, they responded very well to the shout outs, clapping along and in the singalongs. 

Ben Crocker’s script of Rapunzel takes the familiar starting point of the young girl with golden hair locked in a tower and takes a flight of fancy onto a ship to set sail from Kingdom of Evergreen to the white cliffs of England on the Wold and gives the Witch a strange magic weasel as a side kick. The script is short of traditional pantomime business and generally weak on comedy and even the songsheet gets integrated into the action as part of their arrival in England. Most of the humour is left to Dame Hilda to provide and she leads the audience engagement with her larger-than-life personality.

There are some excellent pastel coloured back cloths with wonderful perspective of the Village, the ship’s deck and Castle, a very attractively designed bar for Old Black Spot pub and an impressive, underused stage right tower window. There are good dance routines to open and close the show with Spice up your life and All I want for Christmas is you and a well sung duet of Anything you can do that is a show highlight. It made for a fun show enjoyed by the cast and audience together.