2020 sees another filthy adult pantomime at the world famous Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London. This year it’s ‘Pricked – Sleeping Beauty Got Woke‘ which takes the classic panto story and gives it a twist.
All of the cast in this production are great and fun to watch. Grant Cartwright takes on the lead role of Sleeping Beauty, the princess who wants to be a pop singer – but can she sing? You’ll have to go along and watch her performance of ‘Wannabe’ with her fury friends to find out! Lucy Penrose is perfect as the out of practice Fairy Merryweather and Fia Houston Hamilton gives a great drag king performance as the Prince. Robert McNeilly gives a powerhouse performance as the insecure, attention seeking villain Maleffluent with flawless vocals throughout the show. But the real star of the show is Charlie Wood as the Raven with identity issues, squawking her way hilariously through the show and singing the Nelly Furtardo classic ‘I’m Like A Bird’.
Audience participation is such a big part of traditional pantomime but with singing and shouting out against current government guidelines, it throws a bit of a spanner in the works. But fear not, this production has introduced buzzers on each table, which when pressed shout things like “he’s behind you” – which is hilarious to hear being set off a hundred times together but snaps to them for coming up with the idea.
One of my favourite panto songs is ‘If I Were Not Upon The Stage’, where each performer talks about what kind of career they might have if they were not an actor. Sadly, I think this production missed a trick by not rewriting the song around the controversial government suggestion that actors might ‘retrain’ into an industry that is more viable. With 2020 seeing actors taking on jobs like shelf stacking and delivery driving, this song could have brilliantly touched on that but didn’t. None the less, it is always a brilliant number during the show.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Chris jepson