Sleeping Beauty is the best panto Darlington has seen for a long time.

Sam Kane both appears as Oddjob and directs this fast, furious, hilarious and enjoyable pantomime. He stars opposite his real life wife, Linda Lusardi as Carabosse, the evil witch who puts a spell on Sleeping Beauty (Zoe Birkett) so she will prick her finger and fall asleep for one hundred years. The pace never slackens with Andy Jones as Muddles and Philip Meeks as Nurse Dolly just adding to the mayhem.

It is clear all involved are having an absolute ball on stage, which transfers across the footlights. Regardless of getting wet or seeing five toilet rolls come hurtling out in to the audience during the brilliant Twelve Days of Christmas (not sure that will happen at every performance) the audience just roar more and more with laughter. The show finishes with everyone standing up dancing along with the cast, while the song will have to be changed after Christmas, no doubt the idea will remain the same.

The comedy is aimed at all levels ensuring children, parents and grandparents all leave the theatre happy. This production of Sleeping Beauty shows why Qdos Pantomimes are the leading panto producers in the country and must be seen as the best panto to play the Civic in a long time, if not ever.