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Sleeping Beauty (Glasgow)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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It's that time of year again: principals, practice your thigh slap; dames, up your game. The King's Theatre has once again proven itself as the reigning monarch of festive family entertainment in Glasgow, casting its esteemed sceptre over the enchanting tale of Sleeping Beauty. Mixing up a new adventure from the classic tale, Eric Potts' script is clean and quick, melding endearingly appauling puns with altogether more sophisticated, referential comedy.

Immaculately furred in black feathers and perfectly enunciated with the cool demeanour of a sociopathic Jane Horrocks, Claire Grogan excels as bad fairy and general party pooper Caraboose. Her delivery breathes pure, undiluted and unapologetic evil and her vocal performance feels as fresh as it may have been when Altered Images were riding the top of the charts.

Nothing says "Glasgow" like Sleeping Beauty's all-star comedian cast. As a dame in the dame's role, Karen Dunbar's turn as the royal Nanny is a joy, pleasantly rubber-faced, vocally expressive and as consistently delightful as the Christmas lights in George Square. Tony Roper, too, is riotously funny, turning on the Glasgae charm as Caraboose's henchman, Hector.

Despite his admirable theatrical credentials, I'd Do Anything's Keith Jack is somewhat disappointing as Prince Joseph of Jordan Hill, at times lacking strength in his delivery and a confident ease in his vocal belt.

Nonetheless, Sleeping Beauty is a vivid and memorable dream of a pantomime, full of lucid comic performances and a hard-working cast which never snoozes on the job.


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