Preview: Sleeping Beauty, Church Hill Theatre

Edinburgh People's Theatre panto 2013. Pic: Comp
Edinburgh People's Theatre panto 2013. Pic: Comp
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ONCE upon a time there lived a king and queen who were grieved, more grieved than words can tell, because they had no children.

They tried the waters of every country, made vows and pilgrimages, and did everything that could be done, but without result. At last, however, the queen found that her wishes were fulfilled, and in due course she gave birth to a daughter.

So begins Charles Perrault’s La Belle Au Bois Dormant – aka Sleeping Beauty – a 17th century French fairytale that has enchanted children for generations.

This Christmas, Edinburgh has its very own Sleeping Beauty, courtesy of Edinburgh People’s Theatre production of the panto favourite.

In a version that Perrault would struggle to recognise, King Rumbletum and Queen Gigglebelly arrange a christening to celebrate the birth of their child, Princess Beauty.

They invite people from across the kingdom, including three fairy godmothers – Smartie, Wispa and Bounty – who give the princess magic gifts. When her invite fails to arrive, evil witch Olga Pong puts a sleeping spell on the child, which will take effect on her 18th birthday.

What happens to Princess Beauty when she turns 18? Must she spend the rest of her days with Gormless, the witch’s son, or will she get to marry Prince Handsome?

Sleeping Beauty, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, until 29 Dec, times vary, £10 (£8), 0131-447 7597