Tag Archives: Jordan Stamatiadis

Sleeping Beauty Takes a Prick!


Charing Cross Theatre



“a fabulously silly night out of innuendo, double entendres and tongue twisting rhymes”

Pantomime is one of Britain’s most enduring Yuletide traditions. Its origins go back to 16th century Italian Commedia dell’Arte although, as with most Christmas traditions, it was much improved upon by the Victorians. You can see the century’s old traditions of gender swapping in the grand old dames and evidence of when performers weren’t allowed to speak in its physical comedy. He’s Behind You!, a new production company from the team behind pantos of yore at Above The Stag theatre, take panto to the next logical conclusion, turning the camp up to 11 with a no holds barred, totally gay panto in ‘Sleeping Beauty Takes a Prick!’

Welcome to Slutvia! A lesser-known eastern European state, home to Prince Charming and Queen Gertrude who are welcoming their first born baby and now heir to the throne to the nation’s Sluts. This is all much to the dismay of Prince Camembert, Prince Charming’s sassy younger brother who is now out of the line of succession. Prince Camembert’s curse, that a prick will kill the young boy before he comes of age, is modified by the fairy godmother so that he will only croak if pricked from behind. Skip forward to days before the prince turns 21 and, of course, hilarity ensues.

It’s an uproarious production, satirically written by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper but largely carried by the comedic performances of Matthew Baldwin as the fabulous Queen Gertrude, whose difficulty for remembering names and catch phrase of ‘don’t correct me’ got funnier each time, and Chris Lane as the villainously bitchy Prince Camembert.

“Costumes by Sandy Lloyd and Robert Draper are impressively extravagant”

The whole cast are enthusiastically panto with surprising musical chops. Daisy the distracted Fairy Godmother, played by Jordan Stamatiadis, and Myrtle/Maria, played by Nikki Biddington, both have strong vocal performances – surpassing expectations for a panto of this scale. The real surprise vocally however, is Matthew Gent as Josef/Jonas whose sweet lovelorn duet with Nikki Biddington is revealing of his West End credentials.

The original music and lyrics by Jon Bradfield are a real highlight and the show could have benefitted from more. The opening number, ‘Welcome to Slutvia’, really sets the tone for what’s to come; an interlude in the song ‘At the Races’ sending up ‘Cats’ really tickled the musical buffs in the audience; and ‘Meet Me in the Garden’ at the end of the second act, sets up the most squirm inducing moment of the show.

Costumes by Sandy Lloyd and Robert Draper are impressively extravagant, especially for Queen Gertrude in their Art Deco glamour and, occasionally, ability to spray bodily fluids. David Shields’ set also seems to spare no expense with an inordinate number of scene changes. Where set and props are lower budget they are intentionally the butt of the joke, all in the spirit of panto.

If you’re looking for a fabulously silly night out of innuendo, double entendres and tongue twisting rhymes without kiddies throwing lightsabers about, this show will hit the spot.


Reviewed on 29th November 2023

by Amber Woodward

Photography by Danny Kaan



Previously reviewed at this venue:

Rebecca | ★★★★ | September 2023
George Takei’s Allegiance | ★★★★ | January 2023
From Here To Eternity | ★★★★ | November 2022
The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore | ★★★ | October 2022
Ride | ★★★★★ | August 2022
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | ★★★ | November 2021
Pippin | ★★★★ | July 2021

Sleeping Beauty Takes a Prick!

Sleeping Beauty Takes a Prick!

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