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tried & tested

Tried & Tested blogs are a great way for us to share amazing venues and attractions with you. We visit lots of local venues and attractions ourselves and write about our experiences.

We are also happy to share 'Reader Recommendations' too as we know just how important it is to hear from other parents.

If you would like to arrange a Tried & Tested blog at your attraction by Mum's guide to Romford,  please contact us here.

Wakey Wakey! Sleeping Beauty


Is there anything that says Christmas season more than a visit to the Panto!?

Every year we love to visit our local Queens Theatre in Hornchurch and join in with a bit of "oh no he isn't" and "he's behind you" banter! This year is no different.

"The best panto we have ever seen." Jack age 8

The tale of Sleeping Beauty is one of the oldest known fairy tales but this version of the story has a real modern twist, perfect for the 21st century. I don't want to spoil it by giving too much away but boys and girls alike will love the character of the Princess Aurora, the football loving Princess who prefers to be known as Raury and her handsome Romford Prince who actually isn't really a Prince at all.

Her father, King 'Enry of 'Ornchurch and Baron of Barkin' leaves us in no doubt of the setting and there are several mentions of local places in the area which everyone loves. The other characters are traditional in their role but with modern twists. The hilarious and glamourous dame, Super Nanny played by Dominic Gee-Burch is a seasoned favourite at Queens Theatre. Prim and Proppa play the comedy sidekicks, enthralling the audience with some very funny slapstick humour, keeping everyone laughing.

A core part of every panto is that time honoured rivalry between good and evil. The good fairy verses the bad fairy. Vampira, the bad fairy conjured enthusiastic boos right from her first appearance on stage while good Fairy Falalalala Lalala La was both sweet and sassy showing she had the skills to help our modern day heroine.

With a cast of only 8 players, the audience will be wowed by their total control of the whole production. Each cast member plays at least one instrument and their musicality plays both a huge part in bringing the show to life and in engaging the audience. The show is packed with jokes and one liners, some aimed at younger members of the audience and some, as with all pantomime, aimed at the adults. We laughed from the very start and we drove home singing the catchy song 'Clap your hands, join the band, We're ready for the party'. We were hooked from beginning to end - and all the way home!

In short, we loved the show! The whole experience was great. This show was the best we have seen yet. It ticked all the boxes - great characters, a modern twist to the story, slapstick humour, audience participation, local references and lots of laughs! 

If you haven't been the theatre before then Queens Theatre Hornchurch is a great option. The facilities are excellent. There is great access to the theatre itself, which isn't too big meaning that all seats have excellent view. Disabled toilet/baby change facilities at the entrance to the auditorium, step free access to the main toilets (of which there are lots so the queue during the interval moved really quickly!) and refreshments which can be pre ordered for the interval. The auditorium is the perfect size so you never feel like you are sitting too far from the stage. Smaller children were offered booster cushions which made sitting on folding theatre seats so much easier. 

The whole experience takes approximately two and a half hours. We took our seats around five minutes before the start of the show. The show itself is around two hours with a 20 minute interval in the middle. 

Access Performances

  • Audio described performance - Saturday 10 December at 2pm
  • British Sign Language interpreted performance - Saturday 10 December at 6.30pm
  • Dementia Friendly performance - Thursday 15 December at 1.30pm
  • Relaxed (SEN/Autism Friendly) performance - Thursday 15 December at 5.30pm.

For the best experience when booking an access performance, speak to the theatre’s Box Office team on 01708 443333, or email [email protected]

The show is running from 24th November – 31st December 2022. Tickets are £13 - £34 (plus 65p QNext Fee per ticket). To book, call the Box Office on 01708 443333, visit the theatre in person, or go online at queens-theatre.co.uk

If you have been to see Sleeping Beauty at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and would like to tell us what you thought of the show, drop us a line here and let us know!

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