REVIEW: Polka Dot’s Sleeping Beauty

Panto at Spalding’s South Holland Centre

How Sleeping Beauty manages to slumber through some of this panto is a total mystery, since the rest of us in the packed audience were kept wide awake by a brilliant show from Polka Dot. This panto has the lot - great gags, plenty of songs that the audience knows, colourful costumes, a clever script, excellent set design and even a dragon that really breathes fire. Yes, the special effects are terrific and it is no wonder that advance bookings for this panto are so strong.

The cast work well as a team and certainly reach out to the hypnotised audience. Sara Woodhouse’s choreography is a delight, and Darren Maddison has once again directed a slick, inventive panto full of topical references and local gags. Every single member of the cast excels. The kids love the mayhem caused by Stephen McGlynn as Nanny Fanny (how about that for a real panto name?) and they hiss in all the right places at the sight of the evil Carabosse (Anna Conway), especially when the lovely Sleeping Beauty (Jemma Carlisle) gets the needle. Graham Weaver is a handsome, strapping Prince Harry who has a voice to match his looks, while Simon Burple provides much of the comedy as King Stefan. But it is local girl Becky Tarrant as Fairy Fortune and the ever popular Phil Norton as Muddles who really steal the show by delivering faultless performances with energy and endless enthusiasm.

Pantomime at the South Holland Centre continues to grow in popularity and it’s easy to see why – this production is classy, stylish and sumptuous, and is the perfect treat for the festive season. Congratulations to all involved in making this a superb panto, a real team effort that puts Spalding firmly on the panto map. I highly recommend a visit to Sleeping Beauty, and if you’ve already been, then go again, it really is worth a second look!

• Sleeping Beauty is on at Spalding’s South Holland Centre until Sunday, January 2. For tickets call 01775 764777 or go to www.southhollandcentre.co.uk