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Sleeping Beauty in Yawnville

Trusty Jude (Shaela Halcrow), Fairy Buckaroo (Kathy Hubbard), Fairy Yeehaw (Danielle Warham) and Fairy Howdy (Ann Thomson) ponder a problem in Sleeping Beauty in the Wild West. Pic. Malcolm Younger

AS A rapidly balding hack I felt both excited and slightly exposed as I walked alone to my seat at the Garrison Theatre for this year’s pantomime, writes Jordan Ogg.

Surrounded by fired-up bairns on school trips and girl guide outings, I quickly realised that I was going to have to fit in. So, despite resolving earlier that I should remain professional throughout, after the curtains opened I was soon jeering, singing along and flinging my arms toward the stage.

In keeping with true panto tradition, a classic children’s tale forms the focus of the show. This sees Sleeping Beauty receive the Wild West treatment in a hilarious script written by Jacqui Clark, directed by Izzy Swanson and performed by the Open Door Drama group.

The Western theme is carried off with a set which features a dusty jailhouse, a sleepy saloon bar and, as might be expected, a blowup cactus. There’s also some fine costumes on display, along with a set of songs that make superb use of the sizable chorus.

The action revolves around a frontier town called Yawnville which is governed by a rather hapless chap named General Disaster. He and his wife are expecting a baby, but as all should remember from their childhood, this little girl becomes the unfortunate recipient of a terrible curse at the hands of a wicked fairy.

Performed by Carla Murdoch, Fairy Black had quite an effect on the bairns in the audience and quickly had them booing and screaming “look behind you” and “she’s over there!” 

Another lady at the centre of the show is the gorgeous dame Ma O’Really. Played by Robert Lowes, she’s an Irish immigrant who is suffering from an acute case of unrequited love for the rather daft town sheriff.

Lowes clearly has much fun in the role and his towering stature, topped with bouffant beehive hair and dressed in the loudest of loud clothing, made for a wonderful performance.

To say any more would give the game away, but if you like to laugh a lot and don’t mind a mild dose of slapstick, innuendo and gender bending, then make sure you get along to this show. Kids will love it, and as this adult can confess, grown-ups will too.

Sleeping Beauty – The Wild West Version runs at the Garrison Theatre until 17th December. Tickets are available from the Shetland Box Office.

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