The Peterborough area has been spoilt for choice on pantomime this season...and some cracking pantos there have been.
No exception was the brilliant ‘Sleeping Beauty’ devised, directed and performed by Renaissance man Simon Aylin and starring fellow Key Theatre stalwart, Tina Doyle, alongside other professional players of the first order: Robert Colvin, Emma Saunders and Louise Russell at the Stahl Theatre, Oundle , just before Christmas.
As Muddles, Simon set the stage alight with burning energy, tip top timing and terrible jokes, much enjoyed by capacity mixed age audiences.
Like a demented Joe Pasquale and supported by Tina Doyle playing against type magnificently as a malificent villain, Louise Russell resembling the clueless Daisy in ‘Not Going Out’ as Fairy Cakes, Rob Colvin as a handsome, hapless Prince Harry and Emma Saunders as a sweetly singing Beauty, we were treated to a Christmas cracker of humour, tradition, audience participation and some wonderful music including Emma Saunders’ mellifluously sung’ Frozen’ solo and a classic version of ‘Loathing’ from ‘Wicked’ delivered with showbiz pizazz and soaring harmonies by Louise Russell and Tina Doyle.
Despite the lack of another comic foil such as a Dame and with an underuse of the Stahl’s lighting rig, this was a truly entertaining and slick production including a most naturally entertaining children’s chorus that encourages me to urge you to book now for next year.
Add this supreme panto to your Key and Cresset Christmas list for an annual seasonal present.