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Sleeping Beauty Reviews

Sleeping Beauty

Ian H Watkins in Sleeping Beauty Venue: Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne
Run: 09.12.05 - 08.01.06 (See all dates)
Character Played: Chester the Jester

While sticking to the traditional Sleeping Beauty story, this pantomime has variations such as King Clarence's time machine, which prompts a toe-tapping rendition of the Time Walk by the energetic cast!



The Argus

Published 15th December 2005

What a joy to see a pantomime without Australian soap stars, Gladiators or Big Brother winners - just a talented cast who can all sing, dance and provide first-class family entertainment.

Eastbourne Theatres' general manager Chris Jordan has written and directed the Devonshire Park pantomime for five years and this is the best yet.

While sticking to the traditional Sleeping Beauty story, it has variations such as King Clarence's time machine, which prompts a toe-tapping rendition of the Time Walk by the energetic cast.

Ian Watkins, better known as H from Steps, steals the show as Chester The Jester. With his somersaults, cheeky grin and enthusiasm, he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand from his first appearance.

Katie Ray is a delightful Beauty - Princess Belle - with a superb singing voice and Tobin Saunders is a dashing prince who also has a powerful voice.

The most important character in panto is the dame and Martyn Knight is excellent as Nellie Night-Nurse. He must have the best pair of legs in the business and his strip scene is a joy to behold.

Rebecca Vere is well cast as Fairy Fortywinks who falls asleep on the job and it was an inspired choice to have Richard Pocock play the wicked Carabosse.

Paul Bentley and Danny Pike (of Danny and Nicky fame) are perfect foils as King Clarence and his Lord Chamberlain.

The traditional panto song, hosted by the Jester and the Dame, is Is This The Way To Amarillo, which had the audience clapping and singing along.

The superb sets, provided by First Family Entertainment, are enhanced by Douglas Morgan and Simon Hine's excellent lighting design.

With colourful costumes designed by Terry Parsons and a talented chorus choreographed by Flik Swan, this is pantomime at its best - fun for all the family and children from nine to 90.

From the moment the curtain rises you feel good, and you come out with a smile on your face.


Eastbourne Theatre

Press Release

Eastbourne Theatres is renowned for producing the best traditional pantomime on the South Coast. After the ‘smash hit success’ of last year’s show, it will surely be a tough act to follow, but with an assembled cast which includes a star who was in one of the best selling British Bands of all time, acclaimed performers direct from the West End, and the welcome return of Martyn Knight as the dame, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ looks set to be even bigger and better!

Royal Academy graduate and West End performer Ian Watkins, who is probably best known as ‘H’ from Steps, heads the cast as the hapless Chester the Jester. West End Star Katie Ray comes to Eastbourne direct from her starring role in Joseph at the New London Theatre as the beautiful Princess, Martyn Knight is back due to popular demand as the most colourful dame on the South Coast. Richard Pocock returns as the deliciously despicable Carabosse, with Tobin Saunders as the dashing Prince Valiant and Southern fm’s Danny Pike.

Ian ‘H’ Watkins enjoys the accolade of being part of one of the biggest British bands of all time (with more top ten hits to their name than the Beatles!) STEPS sold a staggering 15 million records and embarked on the largest ever UK arena tour.

Ian has performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including London's West End, in the lead role in the hit musical Joseph and graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music with a distinction.

Sleeping Beauty marks the 5th in-house produced pantomime, with previous titles including ‘Cinderella’, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ ‘Dick Whittington’ and ‘Aladdin’. Eastbourne Theatres take the responsibility of presenting a quality show seriously, as it’s very often the very first live theatre experience for many youngsters. The emphasis is always on the quality of the production, which judging by the continual box office smashes and critical acclaim is a winning formula!




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