While Sleeping Beauty and the entire kingdom was asleep who did the dusting for all those hundreds of years? What would happen if the wrong person had kissed her? These are the sorts of questions – long in need of an answer – that Scallywags Theatre Company sets out to answer in this revision of the traditional fairytale.
The whole production seems very much like a less suggestive panto: audience participation, pop culture references and an over the top baddie. Some of the jokes do not always hit the mark, especially with such a young crowd, but the whole thing has lightness of touch that is quite charming; none of the scenes are laboured and the costume changes and beautifully decorated scenery mean that there is always something to look at. Of particular note are Bluebell and Buttercup, the two good fairies, whose well-meaning frivolity keeps the show running along.
The show imagines what would happen if the princess had been woken up by someone who wasn’t a prince or her true love, thus meaning that the kingdom is still in disorder and that she and her rescuer, Harry Prince (see what they did there?) have to sort it all out by going on a quest. In some ways, it is very similar to Shrek, not least because of Harry’s quite obnoxious personality. He gives the impression of being almost entirely selfish and self-serving to begin with and, despite having a change of heart about half way through, still remains quite unappetising. All in all, I felt quite sorry for the poor princess: he is small compensation for a handsome prince.
Despite issues with the characterisation, this is an enjoyable enough show, with songs, involvement and a cast varied enough to keep things interesting. Definitely one for all little princesses out there.