It’s a Bewty!
Don’t miss the high energy, all-Cornish hilarity of Sleeping Beauty — this year’s brilliant Christmas Show at Hall for Cornwall.
Now I’m no theatre critic and the greatest challenge in writing this particular review is getting to the end of it without using the word ‘pantomime’. Oh baubles!
You see, panto is so often perceived as a tired and traditional genre and the creative team behind Hall For Cornwall’s mould-breaking Christmas Show is all about taking this festive theatre experience in a new direction. All the fun, less of the cliché.
Sleeping Beauty is the third in the trilogy of fairytales with a twist, starring Edward ‘Kernow King’ Rowe and Granville Saxton. And I’m a bit worried about where we’ll get our fix next year. Rowe’s character Kenwyne is surely now a Cornish national treasure and I for one and going to miss him. Sob. Anyway, Sleeping Beauty…
As the show begins, we are whisked back in time to one Christmas Day on Roche Rock, during Kenwyne’s childhood. His dear departed mother is passing on some sage advice and her, erm, beloved chough.
Skip back to today and Kenwyne is looking to the future without his mum and naturally (I can’t quite remember how), ends up in a strange kingdom in crisis.
You know the next bit. Beautiful princess Rose has pricked her finger and fallen into an everlasting sleep. An evil queen has taken the throne (a baddie with a belting voice, played by gorgeous Deborah Tracey). The search for a hero is on! Cue a bawdy game show named Find me a Fella.
Now this is not a traditional panto, so we must assume prancy Prince Charming with his floppy beef wellington will never cut the mustard. Or will he? And will Kenwyne ever see the bleddy obvious?
Expect loads of familiar pop songs with less familiar lyrics, from Queen anthems to Mambo Number 5, featuring an A-Z of Cornish towns. And a whole LOT of Cornishness, lighting on everything from zero-hours hospitality jobs (the Cornish dream) to the A30 and back again – even the bawdy jokes had a Cornish twang.
And I hadn’t noticed but on the way home, my five year old pointed out that we’d never once shouted ‘he’s behind you’ or ‘oh no he didn’t’ – we’d been practising all day you see. But we decided this was more than made up for by a heartfelt round of ‘Oggy, Oggy, Oggy’ and ‘Cornwall, Cornwall, Cornwall’ – oh, and a scary dragon with real fire!
Congratulations to all the fabulous cast. No one shows the energy at Christmas time that you do! And director/ writer/ producer Simon Harvey and musical director/ writer/ producer Richard Healey, who have created something so special for the last three years at Hall For Cornwall. Fingers crossed you’ve got something exciting up your sleeves for next year.
Book tickets at: Hallforcornwall.co.uk, Tues 5 – Sun 31 Dec
PS: Stay tuned for a ‘Muddy Walks’ post featuring Roche Rock. I am more than a little intrigued.