Sleeping Beauty and a Little Prick at The Paganini Theatre, Brighton
This pantomime has a fantastic dynamic to it. Why? Because there’s a wonderful mix between old school vaudevillian players teaching the youngsters how to do it – and the audience loves every minute!
With deliberate corpsing going on and no real respect for the script, doyennes of drag – namely Lee Tracey as The Queen Lee, the inimitable David Raven, aka Maisie Trollette, as Nurse Pansy Ringworm, and Phil Randell, aka Phil Harlequeen, as Princess Gladys – perform all the old gags with panache and flair. Even when the audience knew the punchlines they got their respective cheers.
Special mention has to go to Topsie Redfern as Fairy Funtime and Jason Prince as Plonker, Aide de Camp to the King, who made every moment they were on stage count, with Prince uttering one of the show’s best lines: “I’ve never tangoed at that end of the ballroom!” And with either a wave of his wand or a swish of his wrist, it all added to the pure comic moments of this very energetic production.
Simon Fielding’s direction ensured that the pace of the show was full of bounce, and the level of sauciness and pure raunch did not diminish throughout the whole frantic two hours.
This is how panto should be performed – first class, where years of experience by the older members of the cast will rub off on their younger cast mates. Great fun and well worth a trip to the seaside.