Sleeping Beauty Review
Review by Callum Stott.
"Overall, if you want a brilliant night out full of fun for all the family, nothing beats the King’s Panto."
After a year away, panto is finally back in Edinburgh and this year it’s bigger and better than even with lavish costumes, incredible sets, and a talented cast full of panto royalty and upcoming stars.
This year’s offering, Sleeping Beauty, has some links to the original Brothers Grimm tale, in that a princess has her finger pricked by a spindle, but besides that, the show’s plot plays second fiddle to the hijinks and calamity of panto fun. Of course, this is what you would expect as the real joy in the production is seeing the panto stars having a laugh with the audience. Grant Stott’s villain Carbosse gains many boos and hisses from all members of the audience, and he really plays it well with the audience when he says “shoosh, listen” all said to further encourage the audience to shout out and get involved. Grant, having done the King’s panto for well over twenty years now, really commands the stage and feels very comfortable in his villainess role.
Allan Stewart also returns for another year as the joyful Queen May. Allan also is a very talented all-around performer (think the Scottish Bruce Forsyth) in that he can sing, act and is naturally very funny. The shenanigans he and Grant get up to on stage are hilarious including his constant jabs at Grant for now being “Grant the Actor” after recently started working on River City. Jordan Young also returns for another year and plays Muddles the Jester. He is the audiences’ best pal and is so likeable on stage. The principal cast is completed by Nicola Meehan, Sia Dauda, and Clare Gray.
Claire Gray having performed for several shows prior with her late father Andy Gray, returns to spend Christmas in the place her father also called home for many years. This will be the first panto without Andy, and you can feel that the cast are really doing this production to celebrate Andy’s life and legacy and there is a lovely moment in Act 2 that plays tribute to this brilliant performer.
The set and costumes are always incredible, and this year expect flying motorbikes, a dress made to look like a table with tea, and a giant bat. Also, the musical is equally magic with the title tune, “Pantoland” being brilliantly sung by Nicola Meehan as The Good Fairy. Overall, if you want a brilliant night out full of fun for all the family, nothing beats the King’s Panto.