I’m home from seeing Sleeping Beauty at the St Helen’s Theatre Royal and we’re all absolutely buzzing! We love a panto at the best of times, but this one was exceptional and really provided fun for all the family. There was no moaning from either adults or children of being bored and no-one asked could they leave early, a first for my family!
The soundtrack should be mentioned as a priority I feel… There were songs from, but definitely not limited to; Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, Blondie, Prodigy, Smash Mouth, and Nina Simone (the Sanderson Sisters, depending on which version you prefer!). I know it sounds like the worst karaoke ever, but the soundtrack really was phenomenal and really brought the show to life. There were a few original songs also, the opening song was particularly catchy and had people joining in before the end. Some of the performances were outstanding; the villain, Carabose, couldn’t half belt out a good tune!
There was the usual amount, if not more than usual, of audience participation, with the cast getting the kids excited and screaming their little lungs off. Although honestly, I don’t know who shouted loudest, the kids or the parents; I think a lot of us, myself included, enjoyed the opportunity to have a little shout and play along! There was a chance for everyone to have a dance at the end, with children up in the aisles doing the Hokey Cokey. And of course, in true panto fashion, there was something to dance along to during the show… It felt like we were doing the YMCA with the actual Village People thanks to the campiness and costumes!!
The characters were so fun, however Chester the Jester and Queenie, the show’s dame, were the showstoppers. They were brilliantly entertaining for the children, but also for the adults. They had many parents belly laughing with their innuendos and rude puns! There were also some pop culture jokes in there worth a chuckle. And of course plenty of slapstick comedy for children and adults alike. Plus many of the Dame’s costumes gave us a giggle, including one outfit of her dressed as a birthday cake!
The show was over 2 hours long including the interval, and it was 2 hours of solid entertainment. All of us thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, my husband and I more than I think we expected. I think it’s also worth mentioning that while it is child and autism friendly, it can get loud and there are also some pyrotechnics on occasion, so ear defenders may be required for noise sensitive children. However, being a panto, it isn’t expected for children to sit in utter silence and for children with PLMD, I would say it was a great atmosphere for them and parents/carers. The staff were also very welcoming towards the families.
The show is set to run throughout the October 2022 half term and is highly recommended by our family! We’re already looking forward to their next panto of Cinderella.
SLEEPING BEAUTY LISTINGS
Date: Friday 21 October – Sunday 30 October 2022
Times: 22 October, 23 October and 27 October to 30 October 12pm and 5pm;
24 October to 26 October 12pm
Adult £16-£18 Concession £15-£17 Child £14-£16 Family (2 adults 2 children) £56-£64
Gold: Adult £18-£20 Concession £17-£19 Child £16-£18
THEATRE ROYAL BOOKING DETAILS
Book in person at the Theatre Royal Box Office, Corporation Street, St. Helens, Merseyside WA10 1LQ (Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm). Alternatively, call 01744 756 000 or log on to: www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.