STAFFORD Gatehouse pantomime rocked into life today
with the opening show of the festive season.
Classic tale Sleeping Beauty was staged with a rock and roll twist as the most talented group of actor musicians to grace the annual panto shook the house with storming versions of timeless hits driven by the powerhouse rhythms of drummer Tom Hassall.
Children from schools including St Andrew’s School and All Saints First School in Denstone roared their approval in time-honoured tradition of booing the baddies and shouting ‘he’s behind you’ in all the right places.
In his first panto in his own right, Greg Barrowman, the young performer who would love to play with Bruce Springsteen, proved he is no slouch himself as an axeman. He also provided the magic kiss to wake Princess Susie, played delightfully by Beth Peach Robinson, when she woke from her 100-year slumber to find herself in the swinging 1960s.
Noa Bodner gave a supreme performance as mean, moody and malevolent Morgana and cast a long shadow as she entered the auditorium to a chorus of boos from the kids.
Andrew Williams exploded onto the stage as Dame Taffeta Trott, coaxing and cajoling the kids and bringing howls of laughter from them by picking on their teacher throughout the show.
King Candlestick Camelot (Paul Matania) crowned a good day’s work with a right royal performance of James Brown’s Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.
The production crew, with Derrick Gask at the helm, director Paulette Randall and writer Peter Rowe have done it again. A flawless performance from all concerned and the kids raised the roof at the final curtain.
Wakey wakey – go and see Sleeping Beauty. It’s a slick, heartwarming and energetic production which is as classy a show as you will see anywhere. Top notch.
Sleeping Beauty runs until January 11 – for times and tickets see www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01785 254653.