SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE MUSICAL
Mossley Operatic and Dramatic Society
Director: Ian Curran
Musical Director: John Barry
Choreography: Emma Kelly & Kaireen McDonald
This was another world premier for MAODS, the well-known nursery story of Sleeping Beauty which has its origins in tales of A Thousand and One Nights. Princes Aurora has had many reincarnations although it is mainly the brothers Grimm version that we know today. The story has been since embellished and this musical presentation brings the drama back to the Sleeping Beauty of the Wood, one of its many former titles.
All the action in this presentation took place on a clever, revolving, composite set. one which included projected images. The scene changes were part of the action all adding to the storytelling. The lighting and sound plots were another dramatic element to give the piece a Disneyesque quality.
These chronicled fairy-tales have been animated and they are now being humanised. For this production the director. assisted by Katherine Farrow, kept this fresh interpretation firmly in the land of make-believe; prince, princess, and the fight of good and evil were brought to life. The score was well read and with an excellent orchestra, delivered Simon Hanson and Peter Vint’s music to give this musical fable its charm. The choreography complemented the narrative and was an integral part of the overall presentation.
The ensemble and cameo roles immersed themselves into their characters while the evil witches’ Ravens were led by the capable Kieran Lever, as Skarp. Two of the fairies looking after the princess well-being are Fairy Willow and Fairy Tulip. Rachael Booth was enchanting as Fairy Tulip. Her opposite number was the humorous, wingless, Willow, play to the full by Jordanne Woodward.
The icy black-hearted Hellisent wants to rule but this can only happen if the King and Queen are childless. Giving a chilling performance, Leanne Wharf captured the fantasy of the iconic fairy-tale wicked witch.
Beauty, Princess Aurora, is the much-loved daughter of King Henry and Queen Catherine. After the evil Hellisent cast her spell on the baby Aurora, she is taken secretly to live and become the Beauty of the Wood. She is accompanied by her mother, Lisa Kay in fine voice, portraying a heart-warming, Queen Catherine. King Henry left in the palace to rule but has had no contact with his daughter because of the spell cast so that when it is the child’s 18th birthday, she pricks her finger and becomes the Sleeping Beauty. Jon Crebbin was impressive as the heavy-hearted grieving father.
The Prince Perrault does not know that he is in love with a princess, at least, not until the spell has been broken. Every inch the hero Samuel Reid crooned and fought his way into Aurora’s heart. The fight scenes, set by Renny Krupinski, gave our hero an extra quality.
Our quintessential heroine, the innocent, unspoiled and plucky, Princess Aurora was creditably portrayed by Hannah Goodwin. Hannah found the core of the character to create a real princess.
“If you “Make-believe, you can achieve all that you see through your dreams ….”