Review: Sleeping Beauty at the Crewe Lyceum

Writer: Alan McHugh

Director: David Fleeshman

Choreography: Thomas Spratt

‘Laughter is the perfect medicine’ Bobby Davro proclaims to finish his solo stand up stint to Act Two. Those words sum up Sleeping Beauty at Crewe which is full of so much laughter it will awaken any sleeping spell.

Alan McHugh ensures the key elements of Sleeping Beauty; a blossoming romance, a spinning wheel, a forest of thorns which sometimes almost comes second to the comedy routines that the family can enjoy. From digs at the latest current affairs to a special appearance on screen by Jackie Weaver, and risky tongue twisters, there’s enough to bring a smile to everyone’s face in this ferociously fun festive treat.

After four years of Cannon and Ball, following the unfortunate news of Bobby Ball in 2020, stepping into the lights to hold the fort is Bobby Davro as Muddles. His humour has adults in tears while keeping it just about family friendly to still be panto safe. Davro knows how to work an audience and every moment he steps on stage, the laughs do not stop coming including a little mishap in the 12 days of Christmas and some incredibly larger than life animal costumes.

Back this year is Crewe favourite Malcolm Lord, Davro and Lord are a untouchable dynamic comedy duo when on stage together. Lord has to be one of the best dames in the buisness and with Lord’s endless panto experience, mixed with Davro’s on the pulse reactions, the laughter never ends.

A panto wouldn’t be a panto without a story though, Amelia Lily is a cheery and sweet Princess Beauty, while Chris Durtnal has a great voice as Prince Harry of Haslington. Both work well together to create the fairytale romance and great musical numbers every panto needs.

What good panto would be without a baddie? Bethany Alice Black steps up to the plate as a boo worthy evil Carabosse and the ensemble pull off Thomas Spratt’s choreography with ease to create some great high energy musical numbers.

Isabella Mason makes her professional debut as the sweet The Good Fairy and her talent shines bright, especially during the closing moments of Act One where, joined with Chris Davey’s spectacular lighting design is a real visual treat.

Particularly in the first half, the music mix could have been tweaked slightly to allow Lily’s expert vocals to shine and perhaps at time there could have been more plot to drive the story. However, this panto’s focus is humour and that makes it a great night out, no matter how old you are.

While the younger members of the family will enjoy the magic, sparkle and colourful design, the adults will be thrilled that they haven’t been forgot about in this laugh a minute panto.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Four star value for money
Value for Money Comments:
The stage may be small and so the design elements are limited, but with its cast and some great lighting design, this is a very reasonably priced panto between £23.75 and £27.75. For more info on the value for money rating click here

🎁 This production was gifted in exchange for a fair and balanced review

📷 Photo credit: Wes Webster Photography

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