Sleeping Beauty, Kings Theatre, Glasgow, Review:
**** 4 Stars
“Elaine C Smith comes home in style”
Its been over a decade since Elaine C Smith last performed in Pantomime at the Kings Theatre Glasgow, however since the departure of Family First Entertainment from the panto scene and Qdos pantomimes returning to Glasgow’s true home of pantomime its time for The Queen of the Kings to come back to that home.
And boy did she deliver! The king’s panto has never looked so good, although still using a former FFE set but with the added magic of qdos and those boys at Twins FX who deliver outstanding special effects that truly bring Glaswegia to life.
Smith’s couthy often funny but always warm Fairy “Bella Houston” puts Glasgow and her love of the city at the heart of the show with both “I belong to Glasgow” and “My home town is where I belong” featuring among the songs that she delivers so brilliantly. Joining her in his Kings theatre debut is Johnny Mac as her son Muddles.
Mac is truly the first comic I’ve seen that can truly measure up to the legends that have gone before him, including Rikki Fulton, Jack Milroy and the much-loved Gerard Kelly with blistering comic timing, spot on audience interaction its clear he is “Enjoying Himself!”. The highlight for Mac is when he manages to destroy the set, lighting and clothes in the middle of an already side splittingly funny 12 days of Christmas routine. Its pure joy to watch.
Bringing villainy to this panto is Juliet Cadzow’s wicked Carabosse who sets the story in motion at the top of the show but is sadly underused especially in act 2 when she is reduced to pre-filmed segments for the bulk of the Act. Joining her is her son “Slimeball” played to perfection of physical comedy by the Sublime Paul-James Corrigan, he is truly one to watch in future panto’s again we could have done with more of him in the action!
With Maggie Lynne as a sweet but never sickly “Princess Beauty”, Will Knights gorgeous “Prince Callum”, George Drennan as “King Hector” and Louise Ludgate as “Queen Morag” rounding out the principal cast. Smith has been surrounded by a hard working and experienced panto team.
The one big draw back in the production is in the sound design, from the front stalls the volume on the orchestra is simply to loud and when the stars of show sing, their vocals become distorted hopefully this can be adjusted as the show beds into its run.
All the right ingredients are at the kings with a dazzling lighting design by Pete Watts a jaw dropping special effects sequence at the end of act 1 that see’s Elaine and Johnny soar to new heights! Crisp direction and chorography by Nick Winston this is truly a return to form for the Kings Glasgow if they can iron out the sound issues it will truly be Glasgow’s biggest pantomime.
Elaine C Smith has truly come home in style, and she is home to stay having been announced for next years Aladdin, this is one pantomime that will just keep on getting better.
Qdos Presents “Sleeping Beauty”, Kings Theatre, Glasgow, Runs until Sunday 7th January 2018 Tickets from £17 go to www.atgtickets.com/shows/sleeping-beauty/kings-theatre/