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Review: Claire Sweeney and Hollyoaks' star amazes audiences in Sleeping Beauty pantomime

By Jess Sharp

Opening the show with the musical number Good Morning Baltimore, from Hairspray, it was obvious this year’s pantomime was going to be a hit.

Filled with comedy, music and some very impressive surprises, Sleeping Beauty is an amazing show for the whole family.

This year’s cast includes actress Claire Sweeney as the evil Carabosse, Hollyoaks’ Andy Moss as Prince Valiant and Medway-born star Joe Tracini as Chester.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty. Pic: Martin Smith at Orgin8 Photography
The cast of Sleeping Beauty. Pic: Martin Smith at Orgin8 Photography

The show begins with the christening of Princess Belle. The evil fairy Carabosse gives her the gift of a curse – on her 16th birthday Belle will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and will fall asleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by true love’s kiss.

The audience follow Fairy Forty Winks, the King, hilarious Chester, Nellie Night Nurse and the heroic Prince as they travel through time to rescue the Princess.

Carol Heffernan, as Belle, gave a phenomenal performance, with a voice fit for the West End, and kindly met fans after the show.

This pantomime incorporates all the Christmas show traditions but with a modern twist. Prepare to be blown away by the special effects, including a mechanical dragon.

It is filled with comedy, interaction with the children and a mix of hit pop songs.

Ruby Burnham, eight, said: “It was amazing. Chester was the funniest, especially when him, Nanny Night Nurse and Prince Valiant were singing and they didn’t know that the ghosts were behind them.

Ruby Burnham with Carol Heffernan after the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Central Theatre
Ruby Burnham with Carol Heffernan after the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Central Theatre

“My favourite part was when Princess Belle and Valiant sang together near the end. It was so good, and the giant dragon that breathed smoke was awesome, too.”

I would really recommend this pantomime for families with small children.

It is a great way to celebrate the festive season and is a great experience for every member of the family to enjoy, even the older ones.

If you would like to see Sleeping Beauty, it is on at the Central Theatre until December 31.

Tickets can be bought online on www.medwayticketslive.co.uk or by calling the box office on 01634 338338.

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