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Tuesday, December 8, 2015


A show that is a great big bundle of fun. (Review by Keith Millar)

Amateur theatre is alive and well in Westville - if the Theatre Club’s Christmas pantomime Sleeping Beauty is anything to go by.

Presented at their rustic little venue, next to the swimming pool in St James Road, the production is a 21st century take on the much loved fairy tale -and is full of fun, music and laughter. In fact, it is difficult to know if one should call it a pantomime or a musical given the amount of popular tunes included in the show, often with new lyrics which help to tell the story.

As for the story, it is very loosely based on the original Sleeping Beauty. Princess Aurora is a Greenpeace activist wannabe, the handsome prince is a computer geek called Norman and the three good fairies are named April, May and June. The evil fairy, Maleficent, becomes the suitably malevolent, Augusta Stern, who has two very stupid sons, Hubert and Howard. The story abounds with these whacky characters that at some stretch of the imagination may just fit into the original.

There is even Westville’s own Anthony Stonier look-a-like, complete with the gorgeous legs, who plays Dame Gwendolyn Gill, a reporter from a tabloid magazine.

The cast all perform with energy and enthusiasm and the singing, backed by a tight four piece band, is very good.

The performance which stands out is that of Sarah Claxton as the Narrator. She is trained in the technical side of theatre production and this is her first venture onto the stage – and what a very pleasant surprise it is. She is easy on the eye and has a lovely singing voice, as well as a commanding presence on stage and a real connection with her audience. There is no doubt that she is ready for the professional stage.

Included in the some 20 songs are I Am What I Am from La Cage aux Folles, Michael Buble’s I Just Haven’t Met You Yet, The Andrews Sisters’ Mr Sandman, the Scissor Sisters’ I Don’t Feel like Dancin’, Queen’s Somebody to Love, the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive, Elton John’s Crocodile Rock and Bryan Adams’ I Do It For You.

All involved in this production have worked hard and with a considerable amount of passion and dedication to get it onto the stage. The result is a show that is a great big bundle of fun. The sense of accomplishment and enjoyment it radiates is palpable and very infectious. There is no doubt that the Westville Theatre Club deserves all the support it can get.

Sleeping Beauty can be seen this coming weekend at the Club’s Theatre in St James Road, Westville, from December 10 to 12 with performances on Friday at 20h00, Saturday at 15h00 and 20h00 and on Sunday at 16h00. Tickets R80pp booked on 083 375 661. It is a supper theatre-style production so BYO food and drink. – Keith Millar