Review and pictures: Drag stars shine in sharp and modern pantomime Sleeping Beauty in Corby

Lily Canter reviews Sleeping Beauty at The Core, Corby

Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 8:00 pm
Lola Lasagne and Gracie Peters. Photo: Geraint Lewis

I waited 30 years to watch a pantomime again and ended up viewing two, in two consecutive nights last week.

And what a double bill. First was family friendly Dick Whittington, and the second was LGBTQ-embracing Sleeping Beauty, at The Core, Corby.

The cast of five including West End drag king Don One and Gracie Peters, did make the stage seem a little sparse at times, and the show is definitely the poor relation in terms of set design compared to Royal & Derngate's Whittington, but it more than made up for this with its outrageous costumes and show stopping musical numbers. Plus the lack of saccharine songs in favour of diva behaviour was a delight to watch.

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'The lack of saccharine songs in favour of diva behaviour was a delight to watch': the stars of Sleeping Beauty. Photo: Geraint Lewis

The stand-out performance was Ru Paul's Drag Race series one star Divina De Campo, who quite frankly I couldn't keep my eyes off. She owned the stage as the Maleficent-esque baddie, belting out tunes across an impressive octave range often in the most ludicrously high heels.

Holding the whole show together, including the missed lines, was Ste Johnston as court jester Silly Billy, who took heckles from the crowd in his stride and kept the story on track.

Less successful was drag queen legend Lola Lasagne who appeared a little flustered at times and played a rather straight pantomime dame role but at least gave as good as she got when swapping Drag Race gibes with De Campo.

In fact the show was very much made with Drag Race fans in mind and many of the jokes passed me by, having never watched the show. But what was clearly apparent was that drag artists are definitely made for panto. In fact I think all pantomimes should be this fabulous.

Stand-out performance: Divina De Campo. Photo: Geraint Lewis

* Sleeping Beauty runs until December 31. Visit thecorecorby.com/whats-on/sleeping-beauty to book.

Lola Lasagne and Ste Johnston. Photo: Geraint Lewis