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Review of "Sleeping Beauty"

This production of Sleeping Beauty builds on and benefits from the growing experience of its director Vanessa Buck and the now well established cast members and back stage stalwarts of the St. Mary's Panto Gang. It was also good to see many new faces this year, including several budding theatrical family dynasties.

The script by Sheila Bird was well constructed and had a light touch, while retaining the traditional pantomime elements. This included a flamboyantly evil baddy (boo hiss), a comedy dame with an unlucky streak with cakes, and a smattering of 'it's behind you', 'oh no he didn't' etc. There was also a large cast of fairies, kings, queens, princes and princesses, courtiers, an ancient and forgetful wizard, some rather Pythonesque knights, oh yes, and a very lively spotty dog.

With so many in the team it would be unfair to pick out individual performances, though it's too tempting not to mention classic moments such as the somewhat creative wandering from the script and improvisation skills ("learnt at theological college?") of the Rector Duncan Swan and Curate Nigel Dawkins as the Town Crier and Tricky Dickie.

Red  shield with swords

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Presented by St. Mary's Panto Gang, January 2008

Overall this was a great ensemble piece, and with its colourful costumes, clever sets, fine music and efficient scene changes altogether made for good family fun entertainment.

Reviewed by Helen Chisnall

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