Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Sarah Crown
Theatre Correspondent
3:14 PM 9th December 2021

Sleeping Beauty

photo - Pamela Raith
photo - Pamela Raith
It’s back and it’s been well worth waiting for, I am of course talking about the traditional Christmas pantomime at the Sheffield Lyceum, which this year is ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

Written and directed by Paul Hendy, it doesn’t disappoint as there is something to please even the grumpiest of Christmas scrooges and whilst there appeared to be a couple of minor technical issues, they didn’t detract from the performance in any way and can soon be remedied.

Damian Williams and Ben Thornton - photo Pamela Raith
Damian Williams and Ben Thornton - photo Pamela Raith
The ingredients for a successful panto were here in abundance: An enthusiastic cast, colourful costumes, audience participation, pyrotechnics, a dragon and the two cheeky monkeys, laughs galore and slap stick.

However, the key to any successful pantomime has to be the dame, this year in the form of Nurse Nellie, brilliantly played once again by Damien Williams, a much loved regular at the Lyceum.

From the moment Williams came onto the stage he connected with the audience. His costumes, ever more colourful and outrageous combined with a plentiful array of facial expressions were a delight and kept the show moving along at quite a pace.

The interaction between Ben Thornton as Jangles and Nellie delighted the audience and their comic timing was perfection itself throughout the performance.

Dominic Sibanda and Hannah Everest. Photo Pamela Raith
Dominic Sibanda and Hannah Everest. Photo Pamela Raith
Hannah Everest and Dominic Sibanda were perfectly cast as the Beauty and her Prince. They made a convincing young couple, singing and dancing beautifully together. As the Prince, Sibanda also played an excellent comic role when with Nellie and Jangles.

Janine Duvitski - Photo Pamela Raith
Janine Duvitski - Photo Pamela Raith
Janine Duvitski, of Benidorm and One Foot in the Grave fame, played the part of Fairy Moonbeam and was both a little dotty but at the same time magical in her beautiful fairy outfit.

Lucas Rush as the villain, Carabosse, menacingly strutted about the stage despite wearing red leather trousers and a red feathery bolero. He delighted in being booed by the audience and also gave as good as he got by booing the audience back himself!

Lucas Rush  - Photo Pamela Raith
Lucas Rush - Photo Pamela Raith
The band were placed in the boxes either side of the stage and were enthusiastically led by Musical Director, James Harrison, whose energy was almost too exhausting to watch, especially so when the audience were joining in and singing along with the cast with the well-known songs.

There is something to please everyone in this production, it really is a fabulous show and is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit with some much needed joy, happiness and laughter.

Sheffield Lyceum Until 3rd January 2022