Norman Robbins has created a sparkling new version of the time-honoured fairytale of the beautiful young princess who, cursed by the wicked fairy Carabosse, sleeps for a hundred years until awoken with a kiss by a handsome young prince. In most versions of The Sleeping Beauty the prince doesn't appear until halfway through Act II but by means of a subtle dream sequence and Tickles', the court jester's, time machine, the prince is introduced much earlier giving better balance to casting and action. Written to be staged either simply or elaborately, the traditional ingredients of this pantomime ensure festive fun for all the family.
Sleeping Beauty has been written as a direct result of dozens of dramatic societies asking me for a script on the subject. As a professional actor and director, I've appeared in versions of this story, several times, and have never been entirely happy with any of them. Mainly, I suppose, because most scripts have the princess appearing in Act I, and the prince only appearing in Act II, meeting for the first time, just before the Finale. Other versions didn't seem to be true pantomime (as we accept it today) and some were downright awful.
I'm not claiming that my version is superior to any other. It wouldn't be true, and it would be very unfair. What I do say, is that I could live with this version. A quick scan through it will tell you if you could.Staging should be simple. The script is designed for a tiny school hall or a full sized theatre. Props and costume should cause no problem. Songs I leave to the discretion of the Director or MD, and my only advice is to keep it brisk and bouncy.
The giant snake can easily be changed to a larger dragon etc., should you so wish, and it would be nice if the costumes could reflect the passage of one hundred years. If not, don't worry too much. Audiences will accept discrepancy if they enjoy the rest of the show, and we all know the financial problems involved.
Azuriel, a fairy
Fusspot, the Lord Chamberlain
Tickles, the Court Jester
King Cedric VII of Entertainia
Queen Semolina, his wife
Dame Ammonia Goodbody, the Royal Nurse
Carabosse. a wicked fairy
Shout, Bawl, two heralds
Prince Valiant of Euphoria
Chorus of Courtiers, Villagers, Royalty, Huntsmen, etc.
Dancing chorus for Fairies, etc.
Junior and Babes chorus for Insects, Fairies, etc.
For Rev. Michael J. Burgess, former professional actor and singer. (With great memories of our crimes against the world of theatre over a period of many years.)