Review: Sleeping Beauty - a beauty of a panto!

Sleeping Beauty at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline
Sleeping Beauty at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline

The buzz in the foyer was there for all to see as cubs, brownies, girl guides and families all piled into the Alhambra for Tuesday’s performance of Sleeping Beauty - and they loved it.

The noise test is one of the easiest ways of measuring the success of a panto.

If the kids shout themselves hoarse, boo the baddy and get involved in the sing-songs then you have a hit - and the Alhambra’s 2014 show ticks every single box.

By full time they were hurtling down the aisle to catch the snow coming from the roof; a little bit of panto magic which makes you smile whether you are eight or 80.

Sleeping Beauty adheres to all the great panto traditions from launching sweets into the crowd to sing-alongs, local jokes, plenty of audience involvement, and some wonderful ad-libbing.

Everyone knows the story, and the scenes leading to the happy ever after finale take in some ingenious time travel, a fab kitchen cooking slapstick scene which went a bit off script on Tuesday amid some great fun, the slaying of a giant dragon,and there’s even a cameo appearance for the Tunnocks teacakes and John Barrowman’s four by four vehicle from the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

The show also has a solid cast which keeps everything ticking along nicely.

The baddies are wonderfully wicked - Joyce Falconer revelling in her role as Caribosse, the wicked witch a lively, cackling sidekick, Gormless, played by Lee Samuel.

They had the young audience animated and in fine voice throughout, and chucked in a fab dance routine and rendition of ‘One Way.’

Joyce’s ‘River City’ colleague, Sally Howitt, was a popular and fun good fairy who guided Prince Michael (Ewan Petrie) and Princess Belle (Bianca Hendrickse-Spendlove) to their destiny.

But this being a panto, the biggest cheers go to the slapstick stars - Gary Morrison as the daft, lovable Muddles, and Dean Park, as Nanny Knot who gets the most outrageous costumes and the biggest laughs. He also sits at the very heart of this fabulous family festive show.

Sleeping Beauty had everything from nods to ‘Frozen’ to cheeky wee digs at Kirkcaldy and Methil - and it went down a storm with the families.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a trip to the panto - so go, and treat yourself!

Sleeping Beauty is at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, until December 27.