Kids sitting in the audience at this year’s Grantham pantomime clearly had a ball.
Their loud appreciation of the production of Sleeping Beauty was clear evidence that they enjoyed it, particularly my five-year-old sister Holly who I’m sure was the loudest of all.
There seemed to be more audience interaction than ever at this year’s festive panto, from chart music sing-alongs to dame Nurse Nanny Nora and Muddles soaking the crowd with water guns.
The pair had great chemistry as mother and son, and the only criticism I have is that the dame was not as camp as he could have been - his flirtations with poor Brian in the audience could have been more outrageous!
Theatre company Polka Dot has put on pantos at the Guildhall for the past three years. I’m not a fan of the tale of Sleeping Beauty and so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have previous pantos, but the cast were great.
Most impressive was Anna Conway as the evil Carabosse. I’ve never heard a more wicked cackle! She played the role wonderfully, from her voice down to the way she carried herself. Holly was suitably scared!
Kelly Wines played Fairy Fortune and did a great job in getting all the youngsters on side to rally against Carabosse. According to the programme, Kelly was also panto director and this was her first time in Grantham.
Muddles, played by Phil Norton, was everyone’s favourite. He was daft and clumsy, and made everyone laugh with his shenanigans and jokes.
Princess Aurora and Prince Harry looked a little uncomfortable during their romantic scenes, but were great otherwise, as was Darren O’Sullivan as King Stefan.
Pantomimes are a wonderful Christmas tradition, and as tickets to the shows in Grantham are selling fast it’s clear many families feel the same. It’s great to see the town’s panto is so well supported.
If you would like to see Sleeping Beauty at the Guildhall Arts Centre pop into the box office in St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. Alternatively, book by calling 01476 406158 or online at www.guildhallartscentre.com
The panto is on until Saturday, January 5.