IF there is a perfect panto mix I think Hereford’s Courtyard may have hit on it.

Take a generous helping of music, song and dance, add a smattering of audience participation, comedy, fabulous costumes and scenery - weave in a sprinkling of glitter and magic, and you have another smash hit success on your hands.

Oh I nearly forgot; don’t forget to slip in a smidgen of good old Carry On smut.

Central to proceedings in Sleeping Beauty is of course pantomime dame Tim McArthur – Katherine Weale, who, among his many fine moments manages to squeeze into Britney Spears’ famous schoolgirl uniform to perform a re-worked medley of her hits. I’ll let you digest that image.

Suffice to say the action, gags and songs come thick and fast – more than enough to amuse this rather weary dad and his excited five-year-old son.

Christina Cuttell cuts a very amusing Essex-styled Princess Briar Rose, and is ably assisted by Will Tudor as her suitor, while Madeline MacMahon is simply delightful as Eartha, the evil fairy – camp and gothic, with more than a hint of Cruella de Vil.

Overall the cast is excellent – the song and dance numbers are bright and crisply executed, and Daniel Slade as Ferris, the hapless son of Dame Katherine Weale is an assured master of ceremony when it comes to keeping those little ones involved.

All in all, a fabulous night, which once again goes to show you don’t need big names to cook up some pantomime magic.

Sleeping Beauty runs at The Courtyard until Saturday, January 7. To book, call the box office or

Click to go to The Courtyard
Hereford Times: The Courtyard - Herefordshire's Centre for the Arts