Sleeping Beauty and the Beast: the fun and festive pantomime at the Battersea Arts Centre was both entertaining and a little bit bonkers. Set at the ‘Goodie-versity,’ the family friendly spectacle reforms our well-loved fairy tale villains, such as Captain Hook and Frankenstein's Monster. With its 100% success rate, the Goodie-versity is ready for the Gooduation ceremony when plans go disastrously awry by someone sending Headmaster Beast to sleep! But do not fear: Headmistress Beauty and Detective Sleeping Beauty are on the case to catch the villain and save the Gooduation! 


Starring the Sleeping Trees with James Dunnell-Smith, Jamal Franklin, Joshua George Smith, Juliana Lisk and John Woodburn as the storytellers at their annual slumber party, the pantomime follows them as they ditch James’s serious and well-planned script in favour of their imaginative creation, which forms the basis of the show. Through musical numbers and the Beast’s highly anticipated Gooduation dance routine, as well as bubbles and the scary Sleep Monster, there are plenty of opportunities for audience members of all ages to get involved in solving this festive mystery. 


But audience participation is not the only way Battersea Arts Centre helps to bring festive entertainment to everybody. Aiming to make shows and performances more accessible, they have introduced a Pay What You Can scheme so that, when booking tickets, customers can choose to pay the suggested price or more so anyone who needs to is able to pay a little less. In the words of Battersea Arts Centre’s CEO Tarek Iskander, “At BAC, we believe that everyone should be able to be a part of the incredible work we programme.  It’s a place where we can all come together, to connect, to share our varied perspectives, to air our differences, and see if there is a way to find a better future for all of us. We know from our rich history that when people meet in a space as equals, the power of collective imagination really CAN change the world.” With flexible ticket prices and relaxed performances, it is clear how hard the Battersea Arts Centre has worked to remove barriers and make the shows accessible for everyone.


As a pantomime, Sleeping Beauty and the Beast was an imaginative spectacle, using well-loved characters and the audience to work together to fight against the dreaded Ofsted Inspector and reform our fairytale villains. Featuring a visit from Santa and a trip into dreamland, this fast-paced adventure with its feel-good atmosphere and ethos of working together was more than enough to bring the Christmas cheer!