Panto at the Pavilion Theatre, Worthing.
Worthing Theatres family pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Pavilion theatre is a festive delight. Not a common choice of story but all of the traditional elements are there as well as some new treats. The story itself becomes irrelevant and almost forgotten as the show is filled with fun and frolics from this talented group of entertainers.
This is a fast paced production and keeps the audience captivated from the outset. It is well cast and from the entrance of The evil (and hilarious) Underlord in the first scene we know we are in for some fun. Patrick Monahan’s performance is excellent and his interactions with the audience will stay with me for a very long time. A natural comic who obviously enjoys improvising much to the joy of those watching and surprise of his fellow actors. Michael the gardener (Michael Auger) is a natural leading man who plays up well to the lines about his good looks. He also has an excellent singing voice and some lovely subtle dialogue which matches his squeeky clean image. Katie Pritchard is charming as Fairy Amethyst. She has chemistry with all of the characters and keeps the show moving along. She also has an excellent singing voice and her Lady Gaga was a challenging vocal which she delivers extremely well. Jay Rawlings as Muddles the Jester is a delight to watch. His juggling skills and other circus talents are extremely impressive and his tricks with props kept us mesmerised. His scenes with Underlord were very funny. Ross Muir as Queen Dorothia is a wonderful Dame. He has a Kenneth Williams air about him and delivers his lines with a delightful edge, especially his more risqué ones, and there were a few of those. Marcavia McCarthy is lovely as Princess Ariana and her singing and dancing talents are put to good use in this part. She has great chemistry with Michael and they make a believable couple. The six members of the ensemble are extremely talented and their dancing skills are excellent. They also play a lot of the smaller parts and chorus and work well with all of the other actors on the stage.
The sets are simple but very effective. Many of the scenes take place front of curtain but when in the castle garden or in the village the traditional brightly coloured buildings and plants leave us in no doubt as to where we are. The costumes were pantomime traditional and excellent. Particularly the Dame’s and her Barbie outfit was inspired and very apt. And her rapping to the Barbie tune was a joy to hear. Underlord’s entrance and rapping to Eminem’s Slim Shady also kept us laughing.
This is a great production with lots of laughs, wonderful improvised acting and entertaining moments of joy. It blends traditional elements of Pantomime we all love with modern jokes and delivers it all extremely well. I would recommend going to see this lovely show to put you in a great mood during the festive season.