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Sleeping Beauty - De Montfort Hall Review

"fun and adventure that delights all ages"

Pantomime awakens and bursts back to life at De Montfort Hall this festive season with Imagine Theatre's production of Sleeping Beauty. Written and directed by Janice Dunn, this year's offering has it all, music, comedy, magic, and more. 

The Sleeping Beauty ensemble.

The story begins at the christening of the King and Queen's new baby daughter, Princess Rosa. The evil sorceress Carabosse casts a curse which means on the Princess's 18th birthday she's destined to die after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. Fast forward as the years have passed and the curse takes holds it's up to the characters to help break the spell and to defeat evil Carabosse.

With impressive sets and costumes and brilliant lighting designed by Matt Ladkin, the production superbly sets each scene from the bright glittering palace to the dark looming forest.

Wendi Peters does a tremendous job in characterising the villainous Carabosse. She clearly is having great fun in delivering the performance. She boasts a strong vocal too and sings up a storm on a few occasions including a great version of 'I Put A Spell On You'.

Maddie Moate is impressive in her pantomime debut as Fairy Phoenix. She has a warm likeable stage presence and is at complete ease throughout. As a well-known face from CBeebies, I got the sense that the children in the audience instantly related to her and willed her character on.

Quick-witted Kiwi comedian Jarred Christmas brings barrels of laughter to his role of Jarred the Jester. Much of the humour in the production comes through him and his delivery is immaculate. Christmas bounces off those around him with speed and skill and enjoys a good relationship with the audience including a gentleman called Brian who is referred to throughout.  

Jarred Christmas (left) as Jarred the Jester.
At the press performance, the role of the dame usually played by Martin Ballard was instead played by Ben Millerman who only grew in confidence as the performance goes on. Millerman who is the company stage manager does a good job of taking on the role.

Natasha Lamb's Princess Rosa is great, she has a wonderous wide-eyed quality to her expressions and is a world-class magician. Performing alongside Luke Bell who covered for Matt Pomeroy as Prince Pablo, Bell who impressively nailed the tricks, the pair create some jaw-dropping sequences that will leave you wondering just how do they do it.

Many of the musical numbers in the show come through Andy Abraham's King Alfie. There is no doubting his ability as a high-class singer but I felt the music choices felt a bit stale and not really appealing for the younger crowd. There is however some dazzling choreography provided by Edwin Ray and performed an energetic ensemble.

There are some great sequences but the most memorable moment of the production is the return of the hilarious '12 days of Christmas'. As ever the number descends into chaos as the props get hidden or thrown across the stage. Bell, Christmas, and Millerman have a ball in this scene.

There are a few moments with stumbled lines which I'm sure will be ironed out throughout the run, after all this was only the second show in the run. The second act certainly feels the tighter of the two running at a much slicker tempo.

Sleeping Beauty offers a welcome return to panto-land. It combines all the magic of pantomime and proves how vital this art form can be for bringing in a younger audience. Much like the title character, panto has been on an extended sleep but now it's here again and offering fun and adventure that delights all ages. 

Sleeping Beauty continues at De Montfort Hall until Monday, January 3rd, 2022. Tickets are available from

Wendi Peters as Carabosse.

1 comment

  1. Indeed it was such great story and performance for all ages, It was the most memorable stage show I ever attend. I remember just to attend the show I decide to took Law Dissertation Writing Service to complete my Law assignment on time.



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