You absolutely cannot beat a Stoke on Trent Regent Theatre panto, and Friday’s Press Night of this year’s offering, Sleeping Beauty, was no exception! Full of glitz, glamour, slapstick, hilarity and warmth it’s definitely one not to miss! I, my 8 year old son, and the rest of the packed-out theatre smiled and laughed from beginning to end…absolutely fabulous!
N.B. We were guests of the Regent Theatre for the purpose of this review.
Stoke-on-Trent’s resident panto king, our very own amazing Jonathan Wilkes, is back once again (playing Muddles) with his awesome comedy partner, Christian Patterson (playing Fanny, the Nanny – you can work out some of the jokes already!) and they are joined by another familiar face to Stoke-on-Trent panto, Kai Owen (King Cyril of Stokey). All three gave 5 star performances, working together with impeccable comedy timing, to have the whole audience doubled-up with laughter from start to finish. Often, pantos at other theatres are just pitched at children, and we adults endure the 2 hours in the theatre for the sake of our little ones. However, this show, although having plenty of jokes for the younger audience members (my 8 year old was giggling all the way through!) is also packed full of naughty innuendos which are clever enough to go over the childrens’ heads but still have the adults in the audience absolutely roaring with laughter!
The script is based on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. Naomi Slights plays Princess Beauty perfectly, with warmth and enthusiasm, and her singing voice is absolutely fabulous. Vivien Parry is suitably evil as Carabosse, the Wicked Fairy, and Delme Thomas plays Chi-Chi, the spirit of Stoke, with wonderful festive campness! Elvis and Freddie Mercury both make an appearance and we were treated to many recognisable songs such as Wham‘s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and an absolutely hilarious rendition of Queen‘s “I Want to Break Free.”
The whole show is such a fantastic experience, packed full of so many memorable scenes. However, unforgettable moments for us included a hysterical Britain’s Got Talent sketch (Jonathan Wilkes and Christian Patterson as Stavros Flatley really does have to be seen to be believed!); a brilliantly written Lip-Sync Challenge scene; a priceless “Pheasant plucking” scene (yes, you read that right!); and a fabulous song all about Stoke-on Trent, brilliantly performed by Kai Owen.
The set is full of glitz and glamour, with fabulous costumes and wonderful special effects throughout. As, always, the choreography (Nikki Wilkes) and dancers (many of whom are from the Wilkes Academy) is outstanding and a special mention also has to go to the band, led by Peter Faint. Regular Stoke-on-Trent panto-goers will be pleased to hear that 5 toilet rolls make an appearance, water-guns are utilised, as always, and poor old Beryl is still ill!
We thought that last year’s Regent Theatre panto, Robin Hood, was the best yet, but Sleeping Beauty goes above and beyond any of your pantomime dreams – a 5 star plus performance, and a definite contender for the best panto in the country! Should you go and see it? Oh yes, you definitely should!!!!
Sleeping Beauty, the Regent Theatre panto, runs until Sunday 5th January, 2020. Get your tickets here or by calling the Regent Theatre Box Office on 0844 871 7649 .
“Sleeping Beauty goes above and beyond any of your pantomime dreams – a 5 star plus performance, and a definite contender for the best panto in the country!”Typical Mummy Family Blog
You can read some of our other family theatre reviews here:
- Mr Popper’s Penguins
- Annie the Musical
- Tom Gates Live on Stage
- Madagascar the Musical
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- In the Night Garden Live
- Nativity! The Musical