Sleeping Beauty: The Regent Theatre, Hanley

The team behind the popular Regent Theatre pantomime return once again this year for their unique take on Sleeping Beauty and fans won’t be disappointed.

Spellbinding choreography, slick performances, a laugh-a-minute script and plenty of audience participation make this a night to remember.

With Stoke-on-Trent’s own Jonathan Wilkes appearing as Muggles, Christian Patterson returning as the larger than life panto dame Fanny the Nanny and Kai Owen stepping out once again at the Hanley venue, there is a strong rapport with the crowd – and a real understanding of the locality that makes for plenty more laughs.

Following the story of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty sees the beautiful princess fall victim to a curse, which her family and friends seek to break.

There is no denying that as dame and director, Patterson has a mastery of panto. He is excellent, exuding charisma and engaging the audience. Wilkes brings his easy charm and humour to the warm role of Muddles, his slick professionalism marking the quality this production is known for.

As King Cyril, Owen certainly puts in a memorable performance working so hard its surprising he doesnt run out of energy. He is responsible for two of the shows standout sketches, although it is strictly no spoilers!

Delme Thomas as the Good Spirit manages that tricky mix of winning over the younger audience members while delivering the lions share of the close to the knuckle gags this production is renowned for. He looks fabulous and is truly likeable, which always goes a long way in the panto! And, of course, Sleeping Beauty herself is just perfect as to be expected, Naomi Slights excelling as the princess that everybody loves.

Its not all about the goodies though, and the baddie in this case definitely a hit. Vivien Parry is remarkable as Carabosse, a true class act delivering mesmerising vocal performances and a compelling performance as the evil witch exacting her revenge by sending the princess into a 100-year sleep.

The success of the Regent Theatre panto, however, is absolutely down to the quality of the production as a whole. The dancing is spellbinding right from the start – and is an inspiration to the kids watching. Fantastically choreography by Nikki Wilkes it never fails to impress especially the acrobatic s on display from the male dancers.

The cast was certainly dressed to impress, and it is these costumes set against the dazzling set changes that help to create a special ambience.

As is to be expected there is something for all the family at The Regent panto – strong innuendo for the adults, rock and pop favourites, fabulous dancing, colourful characters and some thoroughly entertaining routines.

Enjoy this festive tradition at the Regent Theatre where Sleeping Beauty runs until Sunday, 5th January.

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