Family Show of the Week: Sleeping Beauty, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
As a parent, particularly of little girls, one can grow sick of the saccharine world of princesses and fairies. What a relief, then, to see Mike Kenny's Sleeping Beauty, which runs in multi-coloured glory alongside West Yorkshire Playhouse's main house offering, The Wind in the Willows. Natasha Magigi joyously defies the picture-book stereotype of the slumbering princess and makes the production all the richer for doing so.
So too the rest of the cast, especially Simon Kerrigan as the rubbish prince whose last-minute attack of manners almost derails the final awakening. Although this is a 100-minute production through which five-year-olds sat spellbound by the songs and actions, it can charm adults.
Wrapped in music and gentle humour, Kenny still confronts the dark heart at the original versions of the fairy tale, though parents need not fear that their child will be frightened: this is a lovely story, elegantly and sensitively told, and wittily performed.
(0113 213 7700; wyp.org.uk) to 19 Jan
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