AN ADULT pantomime which started life thanks to a pint and a parmo is making its way to Darlington Hippodrome this spring.

Sleeping with Beauty is a twist on the classic fairy tale, with added smut.

This show is strictly for over 16s, so leave the kids at home for this one.

Starring Hollyoaks and Waterloo Road actor, Ben-Ryan Davies, comic Liam Mellor, North East actress Eilish Stout-Cairns, pantomime dame favourites Jimmy Burton-Iles and Robert Squire, and Liverpool’s Vikki Earle, this show is sure to be a laugh a minute.

The Northern Echo: The show is for over 16s only. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTThe show is for over 16s only. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

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Liam Mellor is taking the role of Jangles, the equivalent of Buttons in Cinderella.

His character is a cheeky chappy, with bags of energy. He also wrote the show, as well as being the producer and director. He came up with the idea over two years ago, before the pandemic began.

Liam said: “I’m from Redcar and like all good ideas in Redcar, it started with a pint and a parmo.

“I just thought it would be a great idea for a show, as long as I could find the right cast.

“We’ve all had to get to know each other very quickly. We’ve been rehearsing for a week now and we feel like we’ve all known each other for years.

“There are parts of the show we don’t rehearse because we want to keep it seeming quite spontaneous.”

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Ben-Ryan Davies, best known as Nick Savage in Hollyoaks, will be playing the Prince. As opposed to the comedy roles in the show, Ben-Ryan is playing the ‘straight man.’

He said: “It’s a really energetic show and we do improvise a bit too. These guys are definitely keeping me on my toes.

“Theatre is so different to TV because when you get out onstage and the lights hit you and the adrenaline just kicks in and gives you a lot of energy.”

Aurora, or Princess Beauty is played by Vikki Earle who described her character as “naïve and the butt of a lot of jokes.”

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She said: “My character is very naïve and innocent, but we’ll see how she is by the end of the show!

“Aurora is your typical princess, she’s sweet and most of the smut that comes out of the rest of the characters’ mouths goes right over her head.”

Robert Squire is playing Carabosse, the evil Queen.

He said: “She’s evil but loveable, and very saucy. She will pick on audience members will and they’ll love it.

“Even though it’s a very physically tiring show, ‘doctor theatre’ soon kicks in and when the adrenaline hits you, you’ve got all the energy in the world.”

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Top UK Dame, Jimmy Burton-Iles is playing Queen Lucious Le-Coq.

He said: “The Queen is very saucy, very naughty and I’m sure the audience will be warmed up pretty quickly. In the past whenever I’ve done panto and we have an audience that’s quieter than usual, we just pick on them, and that soon sorts them out.”

Fairy Nuff is played by North East actress, Eilish Stout-Cairns. Eilish described her character as “gobby”, “cheeky” and “rude”.

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Eilish said: “She’s dead gobby and fancies everyone. She wants a bit of Jangles, she wants a bit of Carabosse, she just wants everyone.

“I’m a bit of Duracell Bunny so even though it’s physically demanding, I should be alright.

“We’ve all jelled really well from the get-go so I know we’ll all have a good laugh on stage.”

Sleeping with Beauty is touring nationally from now until May and will be appearing at Darlington Hippodrome on March 31.


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