Review: Sleeping Beauty at the Kings Theatre

SHE'S BEHIND YOU! Danniella Westbrook and Lynne McGranger as Fairy Sparkle and Carabosse at the Kings Theatre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133475-2369)
SHE'S BEHIND YOU! Danniella Westbrook and Lynne McGranger as Fairy Sparkle and Carabosse at the Kings Theatre. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133475-2369)
Milton Jones Is Out There

Milton Jones walks the fine line between clever and stupid at Portsmouth Guildhall

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Fluffing your lines, tripped over on-stage or even your wig falling off spells disaster for many performers. But not at the Kings Theatre pantomime last night.

It took just seconds for Chester the Jester, played by Matt Dallen, to fall over a pile of socks, with Queen Gertie the Gorgeous, Christopher Marlowe, to quickly fall behind him. Then the iconic wig fell off.

ENSEMBLE  Centre front, left to right, Fairy Sparkle played by Danniella Westbrook, Princess Beauty played by Helen Kent with Chester the Jester played by Matt Dallen. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133475-2285)

ENSEMBLE Centre front, left to right, Fairy Sparkle played by Danniella Westbrook, Princess Beauty played by Helen Kent with Chester the Jester played by Matt Dallen. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133475-2285)

The actors may have been rushing back up, but most of the audience was crying with laughter. It drew the biggest laugh of the night, and that’s exactly what pantomime should be full of – silly fun and laughter.

The Southsea theatre is celebrating the festive time of year by staging Sleeping Beauty, but the families in attendance certainly didn’t snooze through the show.

Matt Dallen, who is also the assistant director, was a typically dizzy and bumbling Buttons-type character as Chester, and had the audience’s attention every step of the way.

Portsmouth-based Marlowe played Sleeping Beauty’s mother with gusto, and the moment he waltzed on-stage dressed as a Cillit Bang bottle was easily a highlight.

Home and Away actress Lynne McGranger travelled all the way from Australia for her role as the evil Carabosse, and played the cackling fairy with menacing flair.

X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney is a dashing prince in his first pantomime, and EastEnders actress Danniella Westbrook is a ditsy fairy

Helen Kent is a fitting Sleeping Beauty, while Tony Adams rounds off the main cast as King Egbert The Oval.

A special mention has to go to the dancing babes. They were clearly having the time of their lives, and didn’t miss a move in the big dance numbers.

And the set was something to behold. From burning spinning wheels to huge sparkling clocks in the palace hall, it really was like a fairy land.

Beverly Rimmer, from Copnor, was there with her four-year-old son Dylan. She said: ‘He’s really enjoying himself, but he keeps getting scared of the evil fairy. We came last year and always love the show.’