Panto review: Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand Theatre - family fun and festive entertainment starring Steve Royle and Hayley Tamaddon

Blackpool Grand’s big pantomime season kicked off this weekend; Sleeping Beauty is packed with family fun, vibrant pop hits, topical jokes and fairytale magic with a dynamite cast and it runs until Jan 01, 2023.
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The Saturday matinee was packed with faces, young and old, who delighted in the silliness, comedy capers, song & dance and enchanting effects.

A dynamite cast brings this simple story to life. Steve Royle, Blackpool’s man of a thousand pantos, stars as Silly Billy and his trademark antics and quick-witted banter are a huge hit.

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His riotous slapstick double-act with Philip Meeks as Nurse Nellie, has the crowd in stitches. Razor sharp comic timing gets laughs in all the right places.

The Grand's Sleeping Beauty pantomime is on until 01 Jan 2023.The Grand's Sleeping Beauty pantomime is on until 01 Jan 2023.
The Grand's Sleeping Beauty pantomime is on until 01 Jan 2023.

The age-old tale is packed with modern references to Tik-Tok videos going viral, terrifying utility bills and shopping in the middle aisle at Aldi.

There’s even a hip-hop loving king, played by Daniel Taylor.

And plenty of political jokes and innuendo keep the grown ups entertained; “You’re as welcome here as Matt Hancock was in the jungle”, says the fairy godmother (Hayley Tamaddon) to the evil Carabosse.

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In her first panto Maisie Sellwood makes a pure and wholesome Sleeping Beauty, and Josh Belward is a dashing delight as the Prince. Both are a triple threat, delivering some gorgeous vocal harmonies and dance routines to familiar pop songs from the eighties to present, with something for all age groups.

Stars of Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand.Stars of Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand.
Stars of Sleeping Beauty at Blackpool Grand.

And Christina Meehan makes a brilliant baddy - as the cackling Carabosse she brings malevolence to the stage, and performs a devilish cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

Joining the cast are the incredible dancers from the Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts Centre with choreography by the award-winning Katie Hill - and her daughter Lexi’s first ever show. The youngsters get the chance to dance in the panto every year, and get invaluable performing experience.

The lighting, costume, make-up, production and the live band are all fabulous, and the special effects make this a truly magical show.

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And they were able to welcome kids from the audience on stage for a finale - which went down a treat after the break during Covid.

Martin Dodd’s production of Sleeping Beauty is a delightful treat for the whole family, and a must-see this festive season.

Contact [email protected] or call 01253 290 190 to book.

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