LIVE REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty will make you rise and shine!

Esther-Grace Button as Fairy Nightshade in Sleeping Beauty at Cast.
Esther-Grace Button as Fairy Nightshade in Sleeping Beauty at Cast.

Panto time is on us again - oh yes it is!

Sleeping Beauty

Cast, Doncaster

Until January 3

What do Star Wars, sword fights, secrets and surprises, scary spiders, songs and slapstick have in common?

They might sound a strange mix, but they are the magical ingredients of this year's Doncaster panto which has kicked off its festive run at Cast.

And Sleeping Beauty will make you rise and shine this Christmas - and that's because this year's show is the best yet!

Cashing in on the forthcoming new Star Wars movie, there's plenty of gags and references that will delight those with a penchant for all things Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, but its the usual slapstick, songs and a few surprises and secrets we won't spoil that make this another sparkling story.

Alan French, returning to Cast after camping it up as the dame in Aladdin last year, steals the show once more, delivering the usual risque gags, outrageous costumes and a quick fire wit that positively crackles with verve and energy.

Esther-Grace Button draws the boos and hisses as the cackling, wicked Fairy Nightshade and Brett Lee Roberts is another returnee from last year, playing the dopey Lucas Mucus and pulling off a deft comic performance in a suitably daft routine involving a mop and ladder.

The stage effects are fantastic - once again, the lighting and musical teams have pulled it off, mixing modern songs (Ed Sheeran and Uptown Funk get a look in) alongside a few 70s classics (Queen's Somebody To Love and Live and Let Die by Wings) to create a feel good, clap and sing along family atmosphere.

There's a sprinkling of snow, plenty of audience participation (be warned, you may end up with the Horn!) and we can guarantee you'll go home with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Over to our junior reviewer KATIE PEARSON, 7, for her verdict...

"It was brilliant, I loved all of it. I liked the silly lady with her funny dresses on - she was really funny. I didn't like the evil fairy though - she was really nasty and scary but she came good at the end. I think it was a brilliant show and I really liked it. I think loads of people will love it."

So wake up - and make sure you see Sleeping Beauty this Christmas. Cast are bringing back truly superb festive shows to Doncaster - you won't be disappointed!

* Andrea Pearson and Katie Pearson, 7.