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AYLESBURY panto has all the right elements for the traditional pantomime with upbeat songs, hammy one-liners and elaborate costumes- but for me it fell just a bit flat.

That is not saying the show wasn't well done and for a pantomime for all the family it probably hits the nail on the head.

But at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre last night the atmosphere didn't seem as buzzing as at other pantos I have been to.

The show started off a bit slowly and there were not too many songs in the first part, which I think was lacking. However it did kick off with a good dance routine to Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's Good Time, which had me tapping my toes.

Former Eastenders star, Anita Dobson, plays the wicked fairy, Carabosse. She is clearly a very talented actress and the children loved to boo her when she came on stage. She revelled in her role and played up to being the baddie with ease.

She did a number of different voices, which I didn't get, but perhaps that was more for the children in the audience.

The comedy duo of Chester the Jester, played by Andy Collins, and Graham Kent, who played Nurse Molly Coddle, were a good pairing.

Andy Collins interacted really well with the audience and soon had everyone doing jazz hands.

The best scene was when Beauty's toys came out to protect her against Carabosse to Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). It was great choreography and made me laugh to see a big teddy stomping around the stage. It was actually a bit strange as I couldn't quite put my finger on why there wasn't as much excitement in the room.

At other pantos I have been to there were kids who just couldn't stay in their seats and dancing around with excitement. I didn't see so much of that last night but yet the show seemed more geared towards children, than adults.

Christian Lund played Prince Antonio- he had a great voice and sung A Thousand Years amazingly and Aerosmith's I Don't Want To Miss A Thing.

Beauty was played by Holly Brewer, who has starred in the theatre's pantomime before and really came into her own during the last song in the show.

Rolling on the River. David Whitworth played the deaf King very well and Linda Bardell was good as the bossy Queen.

The ensemble were excellent and they made the stage come alive when they were on-stage so deserve a mention- Frankie Armitage, Gemma Buckingham, Naoimh Morgan, Leslie Garcia Bowman, Ben Gillett and Helen Penn.

The children from The Musical Kidz Company were also brilliant and very professional for their age.

Sleeping Beauty is a very polished pantomime with a talented cast. My deputy editor loved the show and if you are looking for a traditional pantomime then this could be the one for you.

Sleeping Beauty is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until January 5. Tickets range from £10 to £29.50. To book call 0844 8717607 or go to

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