The Christmas season is more about pantomimes than gifts according to my 15-year-old daughter Poppy, who has been diagnosed with autism.
So when she found out she would be going to the relaxed Sleeping Beauty performance at De Montfort Hall after Christmas – Covid willing – it gave her something to look forward to after the big day.
There is a lot more for the venues to consider now in terms of security, so we were delighted to find that the management of the entire show was very secure.
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We had our Covid pass checks before entering the building, and bag checks were straightforward upon entry. We collected our tickets from the box office without queuing, and although the hall was busy the staff did a great job directing people around the building so as not to cause any disruption.
On the way up to our seats, we spotted a sensory toy table where Poppy had the option to choose a free sensory toy, which really helped keep her busy during the performance.
We went upstairs and were quickly served at the kiosk before taking our seats.
The whole atmosphere in the place was very relaxed when the staff showed us our seats. We were delighted to see that the lights remained dim throughout the performance.
The show was easy to follow, and my daughter joined in at opportune times, especially booing the evil fairy godmother Carabosse, excellently characterized by Wendi Peters.
She liked all the characters, but her favorites were Fairy Phoenix played by Maddie Moate and Jarred the Jester played by Jarred Christmas – she liked to scream every time they took the stage.
The volume was right, and the music made Poppy dance in her seat to every song, she was desperate to get up and dance, and didn’t need to be invited twice when the audience was asked to do just that in the second half.
Poppy’s favorites were the old classics – the ghost scene – she loved to join in on the audience yelling “behind you!” And 12 days of Christmas – especially when she shouted “5 rolls of toilet paper!” “
The story was well told and easy to follow for all ages. Matthew Pomeroy and Natasha Lamb were just perfect as Prince Pablo and Princess Rosa.
The scenery was beautiful and the lighting amazing – we especially liked the disco ball effect that lit up the ceiling.
The magic tricks were excellent and really made the show stand out.
This pantomime has it all – fun, jokes, magic, brilliant songs and great dance routines. Well done to everyone involved – a great show in a really relaxed environment.
Sleeping Beauty is at the De Montfort room until Monday January 3.
Tickets £ 15.75 – £ 21