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27th Jun, 2022

The Norbury stages a spell-binding Sleeping Beauty in the Spa

Droitwich Editorial 17th Jan, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

FOR many towns and cities across the UK, panto season is over by December but for the people of Droitwich it’s a case of ‘oh no it isn’t’.

The festive season traditionally extends into January in the Spa and capacity crowds at the theatre have been treated to spell-binding performances of this year’s offering Sleeping Beauty.

There was some great comedy in this production, especially the scenes involving great Dame Dotty Dooright, expertly played by David Hatfield. He had a great rapport with the audience and delivered double entendres by the dozen throughout.

But the pick of the scenes involved him (or should that be her) were with the MI5 agent, played by Chris Wiltshire.

The dame carrying out a ‘frisk-style’ security check on the undercover officer had the audience chuckling away, as did another which saw the pair reading letters they were writing aloud, producing some very suspect sentences. That was Two Ronnies-esque in its delivery.

The greatest hilarity on the night however came from ornithological agent Feathers, played by James Cowlishaw. The audience really took a shine to his bird-like body language and mannerisms and were in hysterics when he was trying to find his lost pigeon Lightning. He even managed to get the crowd cooing away in between laughs in a bid to bring the pigeon back home.

All of those were truly great panto performances but Joanna Hughes stole the show as an excellent and extremely evil Zelda and the chemistry between her and sidekick Spaldrick, played by John Birchley, was a joy to watch.

Elsewhere, Andy and Melanie Brown were fantastic as the King and Queen, as were Doug Millington-Smith and Sarah Laird as the Prince and Princess. Those two also did a great duet.

That was one of many musical highlights on the evening, along with Zelda and Spaldrick’s Friendship, the Fairies ‘Sisters are Doing it for Themselves’ and the tap-dancing display shortly before the walkdown.

Other great aspects in the show included the way the cast ad-libbed where they could, really playing up the traditional thigh-slapping cheesiness of the genre, and the way they localised the script to Droitwich and the surrounding villages.

There is still time to catch Sleeping Beauty at the Norbury so don’t go thinking the panto season is behind you just yet.

The remaining performances take place this afternoon (Saturday) at 2.30pm and tonight at 7.30pm.

The final ones will then be next Friday and Saturday (January 23 and 24) at 7.30pm and there is also a matinee next Saturday at 2.30pm.

Visit www.norburytheatre.co.uk or call 01905 770154 for more information.

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