Claire Sweeney To Cast A Spell Over St Helens Audiences This October
Regal Entertainments will present Sleeping Beauty at the theatre from Saturday, 21 October - Sunday, 29 October, promising half-term fun for all the family.
Star of stage and screen Claire Sweeney will be transformed into the evil fairy Carabosse, who curses Princess Aurora, tricking her into an eternal slumber. The former Brookside actress and West End star is no stranger to panto, having played a number of roles - oh yes she has! - over the years. Her most recent stage roles meanwhile include Baroness Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Velma von Tussle in Hairspray, both on national tours.
Claire Sweeney said: "I am thrilled to be appearing at St Helens Theatre Royal - being from Liverpool, it will be like performing to a home crowd and I can't wait to be back. I have known Regal Entertainments for many years and always loved their shows so am delighted to have the opportunity to work with them. Sleeping Beauty was always one of my favourite fairy tales, Panto is always great fun with an electric atmosphere!"
Actor and entertainer Tam Ryan, who is playing Chester the Jester, is best-known for his scene-stealing roles in Manchester Opera House pantomimes like Snow White, Peter Pan and Cinderella. But he also recently went on tour with none other than The Hoff in the musical Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, and has playEd Thomas Cromwell no less in A Man for All Seasons as well as Beast in Beauty and the Beast.
Laura Gregory returns to the role of the eponymous beautiful princess, cursed to fall asleep until a handsome suitor wakes her with true love's kiss, after also playing Aurora at St Helens in 2015 when she beat 90 other actresses to the part. Her other panto credits include Cinderella at St Helens in 2015 and Wendy in Peter Pan last year, as well as Snow White and Aladdin at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool.
Completing the line-up and ready to bring this enchanting tale to life is St Helens' resident Dame, Simon Foster, bringing his slapstick fun and chaos to the stage as Dame Queenie.
Sleeping Beauty tells the enchanting tale of Princess Aurora, who is cursed by the evil fairy Carabosse after failing to receive an invite to the Royal Christening, claiming that if the Princess pricks her finger, she will die. Years later at her 16th birthday, Aurora is tricked into piercing her finger on a spinning wheel by the evil fairy. After the curse is countered by the Lilac Fairy, Aurora instead falls into a deep and eternal slumber, which can only be broken by a kiss from her true love.
Will the beautiful princess find her true love and be freed from the evil fairy's curse? What fate awaits the evil fairy? Set your alarms and get down to St Helens Theatre Royal this October for a truly magical adventure.
Chantelle Nolan, Theatre Manager said: "Sleeping Beauty is a wonderful, spellbinding story and I can guarantee our new production will sprinkle more than a little magic over the October half-term.
"I am absolutely delighted to be able to welcome the brilliant Claire Sweeney to St Helens Theatre Royal, to make the evil fairy Carabosse the most glamorous baddie in panto-land, while Tam Ryan is a legend on the panto circuit. Add in our regular stars Laura Gregory and Simon Foster, this is shaping up to be one of our best pantomimes to date."
For more information please visit: www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/St-Helens-Theatre-Royal
Follow us on Twitter: @TheatreRoyalStH