Stuart King

Review: SLEEPING BEAUTY TAKES A PRICK! at Charing Cross Theatre

For a brazenly adult, hugely camp (and outrageously homosexual) panto, the opening night of SLEEPING BEAUTY TAKES A PRICK! ticked and tickled every stereotypical box. In fact the only thing which would have made it camper, would have been if Dame Joan Collins herself were to turn-up in the audience — and poof, as if by magic, there she was, rubbing shoulder-pads with 80s pop stars Mike Nolan and Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz. You really can’t make this stuff up!

Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick - Matthew Baldwin and company - photo by Oli Sones Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick - Matthew Baldwin and company - photo by Oli Sones

With enough flippancy and filth to sate even the most ardent appetite, this icing cake concoction with sets by David Shields, even manages to conjure a camp alien (Myles Hart) to woo the panto prince (although the baser pursuit of buggery seemed to be more on his mind than anything pertaining to poetry and rose petals).

At the court of Slutvia, Queen Gertrude (an hilarious turn from Matthew Baldwin) has produced a son and future heir. Sensing that time is of the essence, the King’s dastardly brother Prince Camembert (Chris Lane) assumes the throne through an act of poisoning. Twenty-One years pass, and as Prince Arry (Tom Mann) is about to claim the crown as his birthright at his coming of age, he discovers a liking for men and comes out. There’s a UFO, a stables, a fairy, various ludicrous misadventures, more risqué jokes than you could shake a dildo at and an enormous amount of hilarious adult-themed mucking about. Quite how the cast (which includes West End stalwart Matthew Gent) manage to keep straight faces throughout the escapade, is anyone’s guess, but the end result is a slick and thoroughly amusing piece of fluff which should bring joy and chuckles galore to anyone who has a mind to be entertained (assuming those minds are neither prudish nor homophobic)!