Ya Wee Sleeping Beauty Review
Review by Callum Stott.
"Even though there are only 5 actors on stage and limited staging, this pantomime really stands side by side with the best as a real masterclass in the art form".
Panto is back in Kirkcaldy and even though there are only 5 actors and limited staging, this pantomime really stands side by side with the best as a real masterclass in the artform with brilliant acting, flamboyant costumes, and an incredibly entertaining night out.
As you come to expect with panto, the story of Sleeping Beauty isn’t here too strictly followed, but Jonathan Stone, the Writer and Director, really understands his audiences in the script, striking a real balance between relevant story and local references. For example, Dame Bev Park portrayed by Billy Mack gets the name from a local hotel, and King Horn played by Mark McDonnell also comes from the local town Kinghorn. The jokes throughout also made fun of the local town centre needing further development works and the local bigger theatre group being shut which made it very relevant for the mostly local crowd. The characters all feel well rounded which I think is a great mix of having a well-written script and equally talented cast.
The real jewel in this production is in its cast. Billy Mack, a well-versed actor, and panto veteran having performed in countless pantomimes across the UK brings real gusto to the role of Dame Bev Park. He embodies real electric energy when on stage and has very funny bones, making me laugh out loud many times throughout the performance. Billy is joined on stage by Mark McDonnell, himself an incredibly experienced actor and pantomime performer, brilliantly embodying the role of King Horn. He and Billy Mack really worked so well together on stage and professionally wound each other up on stage which led to great laughter from the audience.
Kirsty Strachan also really nailed the villainous role of Lady Lascivia Bank. The audience booed and hissed at her antics, and you can really see her extensive theatre experience play out well on stage. The cast is rounded up by Sarah Brown Cooper as Bonnie and Robin McKenzie as Prince Mark Inch. Sarah is a fantastic addition to the cast being both a brilliant singer and an all-around performer. She also really buys in to the fun of the production and is a natural on stage. Robin Mckenzie, making his professional debut, really shines in the role of Prince Mark Inch. The role really worked with Robin’s musical theatre strengths of having a lovely voice whilst also being a confident leading man who owned the stage and worked really with the rest of the cast.
Something I must also note about this production, and what I would say was the highlight was how much you could tell the actors loved what they were doing and felt so happy to be on that stage. It’s been a really tough year, in particular for the acting community, and you can just feel the joy these actors felt and it really stepped up the production as ever single set piece or joke, was delivered with so much energy and passion. If you are looking for the ultimate night out in Fife this Christmas, the King’s theatre Panto is the only place to be!