Dec 20 2011 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
THERE’S no zzzzs for the cast of Sleeping Beauty – this cheery, colourful and energetic PFT production works many of the 10-strong cast extremely hard, keeping them and their audience on their toes.
While sticking mostly to the traditional tale of the young princess who is doomed by the evil witch’s spell to die on her 18th birthday and then counter-spelled by the good fairy to sleep for 100 years, this production does have a very acceptable twist to inject a fresh aspect to this well-known story.
Director John Durnin has persuaded some of the ‘serious’ actors from the summer season ensemble to don 1970s style skin tight ‘glam’ attire and ‘big hair’ wigs, which they do with aplomb.
And TV soap star Deirdre Davis (Eileen Donachie in River City) turns out a delightful Fairy, pitching Polly just perfectly without being too syrupy sweet.
The hardest working member of the cast without a doubt is Alan Steele as Nurse Nancy, who plays the dippy dame with boundless energy, although his ‘engagement’ with one hapless audience member throughout most of the performance did wear a little thin.
Gavin Wright quickly attracts the audience’s affection as Polly’s son, Fester the Jester, and he too exudes boundless energy and enthusiasm from start to finish.
The evil one, Cara Bossi, is played with gusto by Jacqueline Dutoit, although at times her posturing did irritate and the opening Second Act scene, in her Bedlam Records studio as she sets out to rid the world of disco music and replace it with punk, was over-long.
Scene stealer throughout the show is Helen Logan as Morven the Minion from Dunfermline, Cara Bossi’s reluctant apprentice. Truly a masterclass in ‘acting with attitude’ from Helen.
Amanda McLaren is a newcomer to the PFT stage, and as Beauty she impressed with her movement and singing.
Well done, too, to the local youngsters who play the Festive Faeries. They have short speaking parts and the team on stage on Saturday night did an excellent job, coming over crisp and clear.
Ken Harrison’s set and costume designs are not opulent but are certainly colourful and serve the production well, especially when taken in tandem with Kate Bonney’s lighting design.
The two musicians, Stuart Watson and Pete Murch, as with the entire Sleeping Beauty team, can be satisfied with a festive season job well done.
Sleeping Beauty continues until January 7.