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BWW Review: SLEEPING BEAUTY, King's Theatre Edinburgh


BWW Review: SLEEPING BEAUTY, King's Theatre Edinburgh

BWW Review: SLEEPING BEAUTY, King's Theatre Edinburgh

BWW Review: SLEEPING BEAUTY, King's Theatre Edinburgh

The King's Theatre panto was always set to be an emotional one. Not only has the annual pantomime returned after 2020's cancellation, it is also the first year without the much-loved Andy Gray since his passing earlier in 2021.

This year's offering is Sleeping Beauty. Identical twins Queen May (Allan Stewart) and Carabosse (Grant Stott) have daughters the same age and Princess Aurora (Sia Dauda) is heir to the throne while the 'evil' queens daughter Princess Narcissa (Clare Gray) is left out in the cold. As with most pantomimes, the plot comes second to the jokes and it's easy to forget which fairytale you're watching- but it never really matters.

Stott and Stewart are a panto force to be reckoned with. Having worked together for so long, they bring something really special that most pantomimes are lacking. I suspect there was probably a script at some point but get the impression the pair are given free rein to ad-lib as they please and the show is all the better for it. Jordan Young also steps in beautifully as Muddles and they all bounce off each other so well. Veering away slightly from the traditional panto plot, it's a joy to see the lovable dafty get a happy ending.

Having seen a number of Crossroads pantomimes, some of the gags are familiar but this feels less tired after a year off and they always go down so well with the audience. The production values are huge and Sleeping Beauty is quite the spectacle.

Clare Gray has taken on the role of Princess Narcissa and leads a very moving tribute to her father. 'King Andy' is honoured throughout this production and it is so fitting of his legacy.

This year's King's panto is organised chaos that has the audience in fits of laughter throughout. While there are several special effects and 'wow' moments it is this incredible cast that bring the true magic to pantomime.

Sleeping Beauty is at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh until 16 January 2022.

Photo credit: Graham Clark

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