For a laugh-a-minute panto at Christmas-time 2019, you can’t go wrong with Sleeping Beauty at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield.
Well, Sleeping Beauty is Sleeping Beauty and without issuing a spoiler alert, the story ends happily. However, there is a modern twist to it, and so it is like no version you have seen before.
The story has singing and dancing throughout, but at no point does the story get lost amongst the songs – it is quite seemless.
The show has all the Panto favourites including “He’s behind you!” and “Oh no it’s not!” and the cast is supported by very able children performers from the local area.
However, don’t take my word for it, here is Heidi’s review of the show:
No Star Names, No Problem!
One of the main things about Panto is that you often see a C-List Celebrity of two on stage, or the same “celebrity” year after year at the same venue (hello Bradford!).
With Sleeping Beauty at Lawrence Batley, you’re not paying to see “star” names, you’re paying to see a star show, by start performers.
It is clear that the cast love their craft, be it Robin Simpson as Nanny Fanny or Thomas Cotran, who played Sebastian Prince. If you have been to see previous Pantos at the Lawrence Batley, you might recognise some of the actors, and you might be forgiven signing “My Name’s Jack, Sing it Back” after last year’s wonderful Jack and the Beanstalk production.
Hester the Jester
It feels a little unfair to single out just one performer, but Nicola Jayne Ingram as Hester the Jester was Heidi’s favourite.
Her broad Yorkshire accent shouldn’t be funny, especially in Huddersfield, but it just works. The jokes were well written and delivered and even when the script went a bit awry, the performers were talented and confident enough to roll with it.
Some of the jokes are not entirely child appropriate. However, the younger ones won’t understand the jokes. But the older ones may cringe if they are sat with their parents!!
At no point did I think that Heidi (aged 6) shouldn’t be watching it, although she did ask why people were laughing a couple of times!
There are a couple of bangs/flashes in the show, especially at the beginning, but for those with sensory issues, it should be ok. If in doubt, get seats a bit further back.
The first half is 70 minutes long, which may prove difficult for some. However, there is a 20 minute interval before a shorter (45 minute) second half.
A Word of Warning!!
If you’re sat in the first few rows of the stalls, you may end up getting a little wet as one of the characters (no spoilers!) uses a water pistol! Nothing too drastic, but put your valuables away if you see it coming!!
Also, if you’re in the front couple of rows, you may be unfortunate enough to be picked on by Nanny Fanny. Fortunately, there is no need to get up on stage, but proof positive that you need to book your seats early to avoid this!
The Lawrence Batley Theatre
The Lawrence Batley is located in Huddersfield Town Centre, about 10 minutes walk from the train station. If you’re driving, you’re best parting in the Market Hall car park, although it can get busy during the daytime.
There is a cafe on site as well as the usual refreshments at interval time!!
Disclaimer – We were provided Press Pass tickets for this event free of charge. However, no influence was made as to the contents of this post.
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