Theatre Britain | The Sleeping Beauty | By Gretchen Goetz

Theatre Britain presents: The Sleeping Beauty, a traditional British panto! A fairytale told in the style of melodrama, The Sleeping Beauty promises ridiculous fun for all and a heavy dose of fantasy. Cheer for the heroes, boo the villains and become an active part of the performance. Enthusiasm is welcome!

The Sleeping Beauty was Theatre Britain’s first panto back in 1996. The show has been revamped and updated and will be presented as part of their 20th anniversary celebration.

Directed by Sue Birch, The Sleeping Beauty features Amanda Bridges, Bryan Brooks, Robin Clayton, Edna Gill, Emmalyn Miron, Nikka Morton, Jamie Robinson, Devon Rose, Robert San Juan, Matthew Stepanek and Octavia Y Thomas. Set design by Darryl P Clement, lighting design by Jason Lynch, costume design by Tory Padden, wig and hair design by Don Hall, choreography by Terri Bruno and with original music by Aaron Fryklund.

Theatre Britain presents The Sleeping Beauty by Jackie Mellor-Guin, opening at 2:30pm on Saturday, November 26 at the Cox Playhouse, 1517 H Avenue, Plano TX 75074 and running through December 30.

The Sleeping Beauty

When: November 26-December 30

  • Fridays | 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays | 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
  • Sundays | 1:30 p.m. & 5 p.m.
  • No performances on December 23, 24, 25
  • December 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30 | 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cox Playhouse | 1517 H Avenue, Plano, TX 75074

(Free parking off G Avenue)

Tickets:

  • Adults $21
  • Students/Seniors $16
  • Children (under 14) $11
  • 10% discount for parties of 10 or more

(No online booking fees)

More: theatre-britain.com

Box Office: 972.490.4202

About the panto

A panto is a traditional fairy tale. Songs, dances, jokes and exaggerated characters are accompanied by audience laughter, a traditional holiday entertainment in Britain, loved since the 1800s. It’s also a great way to entertain children, encouraging interaction, cheering and enlisting their help in supporting the heroes. And because panto works on two levels,  many of the jokes will fly over their heads for the adults to catch.

The centerpiece of any panto is: The Dame, a comic, larger-than-life character, played by a man. The tradition of men playing women stretches back to the earliest origins of the theatre, when girls and young women were played by youths and old women by men, often comically. The panto Dame, usually the hero’s mother, was a creation that emerged from the early Music Halls of the Victorian era. The public warmed to seeing their favorite comedian playing the role of Jack’s mother or the King’s cook and bottlewasher.

The Principal Boy is the romantic male lead and is a ‘breeches part’, that is, played by a woman. It can be traced back to at least the early 1800s, predominantly in opera. The first panto Principal Boy was Eliza Povey, who played Jack at Drury Lane in 1819, but the convention did not take hold fully until the 1880s with the rise of the Music Hall.  A woman playing a man served to increase the hilarity and popularity of the show.

The Villain is always extremely evil, and the audience is encouraged to hiss.

Historical panto information courtesy of www.its-behind-you.com.

Alexandra Cronin

Alexandra Cronin is Local Profile's senior editor. She has been with the company since 2016. She loves great coffee, good food, and average wine.