Sleeping Beauty, Northumberland Theatre Company, Dovecote Centre, Amble.
From start to finish Northumberland Theatre Company’s (NTC) pantomime was a huge triumph.
The touring company is renowned for its fantastic productions, and Sleeping Beauty was up there with some of the best. It was everything a pantomime should be and more.
It was funny, yet romantic, full of song and dance, audience participation and plenty of good old fashioned laughter.
Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Princess Aurora, who pricks her finger on a spindle and goes into a deep sleep for 100 years after being cursed by a wicked fairy, only to be woken by a prince who shows his love for her.
Newcomer to NTC, Amber Jayne is fantastic as the beautiful princess – her stunning voice combined with natural acting talent meant she took to the stage effortlessly.
Love Actually and Thunderbirds start Stewart Howson was absolutely brilliant as Aurora’s father King Nobby, he was so entertaining and brilliantly funny.
Leo Atkin was the panto dame and he was superb. He was the epitome of a dame – funny with a garish costume and a few innuendoes to boot.
But my favourites had to be Bethan Amber as Billy and NTC director Gillian Hambleton as Carabosse, the wicked fairy, with her trusty evil cat Spindleshanks played by David McCarthy.
Bethan opened with a rendition of the Greatest Show, which set the bar for the whole production. Her voice was outstanding, and she had amazing stage presence.
And Gillian was the perfect Carabosse. Wickedly evil, she had the audience booing and hissing at all the right times, while David was superbly entertaining as her talking cat.
Fairy Peaceful, played by Justine Adams was the perfect good fairy,
The dancers from Alnwick Academy of Dance were also superb and really added another level to the show.
The entire production was just brilliant and is quite possibly one of the best I have seen. It embodies everything a panto should be and I hope it becomes an annual occurrence.
It is at the Dovecote Centre until Monday, December 31. Book at www.northumberlandtheatre.co.uk