Being a big fan of both pantomime and the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (which is frequently referred to as one of the most beautiful theatres in the country) I was looking forward to watching Sleeping Beauty. I have seen both Ian Adams and Doreen Tipton previously and know how funny they are.
Myself and my son are both fans of Sooty and were also looking forward to seeing him with Sooty Show presenter Richard Cadell.
What I didn’t realise was how truly magical this panto was going to be. Richard Cadell is a brilliant magician who has been awarded the David Berglas Award for magic which has been previously won by Dynamo and Derren Brown! He transferred these skills to the stage with the aid of Sooty and performed tricks which delighted the audience!
Another amazing moment for me was the opening sequence where Strictly Come Dancing’s Debbie McGee performed magic of her own by flying high in the air as The Lovely Fairy Crystal! Oliver Ormson and Bethan-Wyn Davies were very likeable as Prince Harry and Princess Beauty and Julie Paton played the part of the wicked Carabosse extremely well and had an amazingly powerful singing voice.
What made this panto so special for me though was the truly hilarious script. In classic panto style the humour worked on both levels with something for children and adults alike.
Doreen Tipton as Nurse Doreen and Ian Adams as Queen Wilhelmina were fantastic and along with Richard Cadell (who had a much greater stage presence than I was expecting) had the audience in stitches. Debbie McGee also impressed us with her fantastic dancing skills.
There were also great special effects and music and the sets and costumes were a fantastic standard.
I highly recommend you catch this superb production, you definitely won’t be sleeping!
To whet your appetite, check out the trailer here:
(with thanks to Tim Thursfield of the Express & Star for the images)