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Sleeping Beauty - Darlington Civic Theatre

Published by: Steve Burbridge on 27th Dec 2012 | View all blogs by Steve Burbridge



It was at Darlington Civic Theatre that Linda Lusardi and Sam Kane first met and fell in love, back in the 1990s. Now, happily married and with two children, the couple have returned to the venue to head the cast of this year’s panto, Sleeping Beauty.

This retelling of the tale of the princess who has a spell put on her that makes her sleep for a hundred years is a lavish and spectacular affair. No expense has been spared in providing spectacular scenery and sets, beautiful costumes and a consummate cast.

Linda Lusardi is in fine form as the cunning Carabosse, the wicked fairy who wreaks he revenge after being excluded from the christening celebrations of the Princess Beauty. She proves to be a top notch baddie and, whilst she elicits hisses and boos from the children in the audience, she receives a number of wolf-whistles from the admiring Dad’s and Granddad’s.

Sam Kane, as her unwitting henchman Oddjob, and Andy Jones, as court jester Muddles, keep the kids entertained with their comedy double-act which involves a slosh-scene which even finds its way down into the auditorium.

Darlington’s very own former Pop Idol contestant, Zoe Birkett, looks and sounds magnificent as Princess Beauty and is paired well with Will Tudor as the dashing royal hero, Prince William of Wallsend. Philip Meeks, once again performing in his native North East after his success as the Dame in Middlesbrough’s panto, has a wonderful warmth as Nurse Dolly, almost stealing the show with his version of I Am What I Am.

Throw in some stunning and magical illusions from Philip Hitchcock, in the role of King Stephan, and you have as near as you can get to pantomime perfection.

Sleeping Beauty is at the Civic Theatre, Darlington, until Sunday 20 January 2013. Tickets are priced from £13.50 to £21, with concessions available. To book call 01325 486 555 or log on to



1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 5 years ago
    Sounds like a great show, Steve.
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