Sleeping Beauty 2013


(Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser)

Another hit for ‘The Muckle Toon Pantomine’ with an audience of over 1060! Thank you!





Published Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser, Thursday, 02 January 2014

THERE was everything you’d expect to see in a pantomime in Sleeping Beauty – audience participation, romance, comedy, a pantomime dame and villain.

The cast of Centre Stage Youth Theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty celebrate a triumphant week on the stage of the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm

The Centre Stage Youth Theatre put on another fabulous performance at the Buccleuch Centre. Sleeping Beauty is a magical mix of fairytale and traditional panto, with plenty of fun, frolics and surprises.

Glen Cavers gave a solid performance as Prince Michael in the pursuit of his love Princess Aurora, (Beth Smith), who was excellent.

The panto opens with the christening scene and the Good Fairies, including Fairy Moonbeam (Jenny Samuels), Fairy Sunlight (Carly Blaikie), Fairy Stardust (Macy Cropper) and the junior fairies Cara Macmillan, Anna Kenny and Katie Hislop, bestowing loving wishes on the baby Princess Aurora.

The wicked fairy Carabosse (Esther Wilkes) was a powerful presence and was soon being booed by the audience. She is furious at not being invited and bursts in and curses the baby so that when she turns 18, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.

The likeable and charming Fairy Queen (Michelle Sterling) cannot undo this spell, only change it so that the Princess will sleep for 100 years. The King orders all spinning wheels banished from the land.

We see the Princess (Sadie Cropper) growing up as the story moves forward to her 18th birthday and we meet her Nanny Nora(Les Murray) who played the perfect panto dame and court jester Barney (Hazel Jeffrey). They made an entertaining duo and soon got the audience into the swing of things.

The palace staff and courtiers, who all love and care for the Princess and gave energetic performances, were Natasha Aitken, Lucy Ash, Chloe Beattie, Molly Bell, Ben Ewart, Amy Forsyth, Cerys Gough, Matthew Grieve, Emily Hislop, Ruairi Hotson, Ciaran Jackson, Callum Jeffrey, Jessica Kenny, Ngan Nguyen, Melissa Park, Millie Ritchie, Ellie Scott, Katie Smith, Rhys Sterling, Leah Jarzyna, Sadie Cooper, Millie Bell, Ruth Bell, Ashleigh Calvert, Chloe Wilkes, Peter Wilkes, Kirsty Graham, Zoe Little and Ellie Hotson.

King Septimus (Nicky Henderson) and Queen Sybil The Sixth (Bryony Graham), who both played strong and humorous roles, consider it is time for Aurora to marry and hold a competition to find the best suitor.

There are some unsuitable contenders, including Boris (Josh Calvert), Andy (Christopher Tait) and Lionel (Luke Bell), all entertaining comedic roles. But with help from the Fairy Queen, Prince Michael of Murania wins her hand.

A strange old lady appears with a gift for Aurora and with the help of her eagle-eyed and amusing Raven, she reveals the gift a spinning wheel. Aurora pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. True to her word the Fairy Queen and Fairy helpers cast a spell to make the whole court sleep for 100 years.

In act two Prince Michael fights his way through the overgrown palace which is surrounded by evil creatures to kiss the slumbering Princess and awaken her. A ball is arranged to celebrate the forthcoming marriage but evil Carabosse kidnaps the princess and drags her deep into the forest. A happy ending ensues when she is rescued by Michael and her loved ones.

Stage manager Ross Mabon, assistant director Jackie Henderson, props Elaine Cavers and costume supervisor Tricia Little did fantastic jobs and, despite technical difficulties in the closing scene, in true professional style the cast carried on regardless.

Director Judith Johnson and producer Christopher Jones said: “As ever, our onstage cast is supported by an army of behind-the-scenes helpers who give so much time and energy to make this a wonderful Christmas experience.”

Sleeping Beauty was certainly an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza for all the family, with plenty of jokes and local references.