By Harry Mottram: October is best know for the Keats’ season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and of course Hallowe’en when adults encourage small children to dress up and ask strangers for sweets. It is also the time that Christmas decorations begin to appear in shops and somewhere in Bath men are pretending to be women – while one particular woman tries to sleep.
I’m talking about Sleeping Beauty – it’s the pantomime that will see the Theatre Royal Bath packed with families and in particular children with sticky fingers eating sweets and ice cream – assuming they’ve been good.
The French folk tale originally called La Belle au bois dormant, as you might imagine is given the traditional panto treatment with song and dance, slapstick, pathos, romance, high comedy and of course good triumphing over evil. Maisie Sellwood has the task of falling asleep for much of the production as Princess Rose while Neil Mc Dermott (he of Eastenders – bad boy Ryan Malloy – is the prince who may or may not ask for her consent in kissing her awake.
Sleeping Beauty opens at the Theatre Royal there’s Sleeping Beauty from 7 Dec; in Bristol at the Hippodrome it’s Peter Pan from Dec 2nd; Swindon’s Wyvern has Sleeping Beauty also from the 2nd Dec; while Cheltenham’s Everyman starts early on 24th Nov with Mother Goose. Yeovil’s Westlands has Cinderella from 8th Dec and Salisbury’s Playhouse has Dick Whittington from November 25th.
(Sleeping Beauty – Maisie Sellwood as Princess Rose – Photo credit Freia Turland)
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