I took my mum for a birthday treat to enjoy the performance of The Wight Strollers’ ‘Sleeping Beauty’. In all honesty, we set out with low expectations, purely because I didn’t know what to expect, but we were so pleasantly surprised from the minute the play began.
The curtains opened and wonderful voices projected through the theatre welcoming baby Aurora to the world. The King and Queen were humorous characters, bouncing off each other with their chemistry while the three fairies, dressed in pink, blue and purple, filled the role with much accuracy that you were made immediately aware of who they were portraying.
The sound effects and the instrumentals played by the band in the corner of the stage added so much feeling and curiosity of what was to come next. For instance, when Carabosse, more famously known as Maleficent, made her entrance, the sounds of thunder filled the room implying the sight of evil will soon be upon us.
Every character from the main ones to the extras in the back were in their element as they performed each of their unique roles. Carabosse was portrayed in such a way that you really believed the character, how evil she is, the deep sadness she feels. Her voice was the perfect fit for the songs, the evilness of her voice never once fading.
Princess Aurora and Prince Hugo had a gorgeous on stage chemistry that allowed the two of them to connect in a believable way, both filling their roles impeccably well. Aurora was sweet, innocent and kind while Prince Hugo had a hint of arrogance but also incredibly charming as a prince should be. Although, I must admit he reminded me more of Flynn Rider from Tangled! (next show idea?)
My personal favourite character was the cleaner, played incredibly well by the director of Wight Strollers, Sarah Scotcher. She had the crowd constantly laughing with her witty jokes and her face expressions. She was so relatable and quick with unscripted responses to people in the audience which made the show feel that more personal. The wit comes so naturally to her, making the character of a cleaner – who you’d think would be less relevant than some of the others – one of the most important of them all.
The costumes were beautifully designed, with so much detail in every single one, especially when the whole crew came out matching in red for the special 40th anniversary finale.
Overall, the show was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. A huge well done to every single person who was involved, even the ones we didn’t actively see.
Wight Strollers have been around for 40 years, and I hope for many more!