Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick ★★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Nov 23, 2023 - Jan 13, 2024

Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick ticks all the pantomime boxes. There's a singalong, the audience gets to shout advice and the outrageous double entendres come thick and fast. Add some silly songs, sweets tossed out, an over-the-top dame whose wardrobe is quite wondrous and you have the total package. Writers Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper don't miss a trick in this LGBTQ+ ode to the genre. The plot is a wild riff on the story of Sleeping Beauty with a gay prince who is cursed not to have sex until he is twenty-one. His wicked uncle takes over his kingdom of Slutvia for one hundred years while the prince and his mother sleep in a spaceship which has brought the prince's alien lover to earth. While many of the prince's problems are caused by his rather inept, lesbian fairy protector, his interfering mother who has her own love life problems doesn't help much. These people have complicated lives, and it all adds up to a raunchy, riotous adult panto that never misses a beat. Andrew Beckett's sharp direction and great pacing keeps the audience on the edge of their seats worrying that they might miss the next zinger as the wordplay whips by. Chris Lane is splendid as the villainous Prince Camembert who tries to keep apart the star-crossed lovers, Prince Arry (Tom Mann) and Zupp (Myles Hart). Kudos also to Jordan Stamatiadis as the feckless fairy, Daisy, and to Matthew Gent as the straight man Josef/Jonas. However, it is Matthew Baldwin as Queen Gertrude who commands the stage whenever he flounces onto it. He succeeds in provoking a chuckle with simply an arched eyebrow or a pursed lip, stealing whatever scene he's in. If you're looking to enjoy the naughty part of the Xmas season, don't miss Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Danny Kaan

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