Sleeping Beauty Salem Pantomime Society
Salem Methodist Church Hall, Halifax
By Pauline Hawkins
MORE interactive than a PS3, more hyperactive than a Duracell bunny.
No one sleeps on Pete Brearley and Steve Ingham’s watch as their annual invasion of pantoland reaches another pratfall pinnacle.
The pairing – brilliant Brearley as outrageous Dame Dyspepsia and incredible Ingham as her lazy son Feckles s– soon had young and old roaring with laughter as their comical chemistry combined to provide an evening of hilarity and slapstick.
Think The Chuckle Brothers meets Laurel and Hardy and you’ve set the tone for the evening.
But this is essentially a love story with a happy ending and there are many colourful characters in Salem’s show to be praised – not merely for their performances but for their ability to keep straight faces while Brearley and Ingham are in full flow.
We were whisked (via Blackpool) from the Royal Palace to the lair of Carabosse, the evil witch whose spell sent the beautiful Princess Aurora (Nicola Stacey) to sleep when she pricked her finger on a spinning wheel. Janet McSharry played her malevolent role with panache, while Debbie Barker as the Lilac Fairy, flitting gracefully, made sure all ended joyously.
Choreographer Barbara Barker again worked her own magic with excellent costumes, supported by cast and friends, while her husband Robert created a superb set.
The production is staged until Saturday (7.15pm) when there is also a 2.15pm matinee.