York Theatre Royal Panto 2019 Sleeping Beauty, Review – So last night we went along to see Sleeping Beauty at the York Theatre Royal. This was the first year that Berwick Kaler was not in the panto as the dame. However, as the writer and director, he certainly made his presence felt in some comedic cameos! But I don’t want do give too many spoilers (oh, yes I do! But I won’t).
Sleeping Beauty at York Theatre Royal
There were plenty of the recurring motifs, as well as the rest of the cast that we love so much, that the panto felt the same familiar and much loved Christmas tradition that it always has. Martin Barrass played the Queen (but not the dame!) And, without seeming disloyal I would like to see him take more of a dame role next year. Suzy Cooper played Beauty in her own inimitable style. While David Leonard remains my favourite villain ever, and is very saucy whatever role he plays (don’t tell Mr W I said that).
AJ returned as our lovely Brummie as always, and Howie Michaels who plays Funky the Flunky has a cracking singing voice! We also enjoyed the punky song and dance routine. In summary, if you have always loved the York Theatre Royal panto and were a little worried that things would be different this year – don’t worry, you will still love it!
More info about York Theatre Royal Panto
There will be 68 performances with two shows most days.
Audio Described 16 Jan, 7.30pm; 18 Jan, 2.30pm
British Sign Language 9 Jan, 7.30pm; 11 Jan, 2.30pm
Captioned 20 Jan, 7.30pm
Dementia Friendly 15 Jan, 2.30pm
Relaxed Performance 17 Dec, 2.30pm
About the Casting of Sleeping Beauty
Jack Lansbury returns to pantomime at York Theatre Royal this Christmas following two years in London’s West End in the musical Wicked. The theatre’s legendary pantomime is where he made his professional stage debut in Dick Whittington and His Meerkat in 2015 – not in the theatre itself but in its temporary home at the National Railway Museum while renovation work was being carried out at the theatre.
He returned the following year when Cinderella marked the return of Berwick Kaler and the York panto to the main stage. Both times Jack was a member of the all-singing, all-dancing Ensemble. This time in Sleeping Beauty he’s playing both the King and the Prince. With panto veteran Martin Barrass playing the Queen, we can be sure this will be no ordinary royal family. For the past two years Jack has been in the West End production of the hit musical Wicked playing Boq, the Munchkinlander who is Elphaba and Glinda’s best friend during their time at Shiz University.
He trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where he had roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Parade, Gas Station Angel, Bonnie & Clyde and Grease. Other theatre roles since then include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Aldeburgh Festival. Someone else returning to a York pantomime is Ensemble member Nick Stuart who was in a York pantomime 20 years ago as a juvenile – one of Berwick’s babbies and bairns. York panto family members David Leonard (Evil Diva), Suzy Cooper (Princess Beauty) and A.J Cooper (Darth Diva) are all returning for Sleeping Beauty.
Back in the Ensemble are Dance Captain Danielle Mullan and Charleigh Webb. Completing the Ensemble are York pantomime newcomers Evonnee Bentley-Holder, Colin Burnicle and Kamau Davis. Also new to York is Howie Michaels, who plays Funky the Flunky. Retired Dame Berwick Kaler writes and co-directs with York theatre-maker Matt Aston, who is also directing The Storm Whale for younger audiences in the Studio over Christmas. Back again are musical director Elliot Styche and movement director/choreographer Grace Harrington.
Harrogate-based Anthony Lamble is the new set and costume designer with Mark Jonathan as the new lighting designer. Sleeping Beauty runs from 7 December to 25 January. Box office 01904 623568. yorktheatreroyal.co.uk