Ginger Hibiscus | Ginger Hibiscus | Review: Sleeping Booty at the Leicester Square Theatre
Ginger Hibiscus | Review: Sleeping Booty at the Leicester Square Theatre
Ginger Hibiscus | Review: Sleeping Booty at the Leicester Square Theatre
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29 Nov REVIEW: Sleeping Booty at the Leicester Square Theatre

From the creators of the West End’s longest running camp, cult romp,Dick!, comes the abso-bloody-lutely hi-fucking-larious Sleeping Booty…all it takes is a prick! Showing at the Leicester Square Theatre for the Christmas 2014 season, it’s a brand-spanking new show that whips the pants off panto, tears them apart and throws them across the room, before jumping on top of it, handcuffing it to the headboard and then dry-humping its leg.

The most likely culprit for this kind of behaviour is Booty (Alice Marshall), our heroine, who’s less Disney princess and more Juicy Couture tracksuit princess. A stripper at the Minty Hippo, she longs for a prince, though Fairy-Muff’s low-lunging Prince Willie Wontie (Leon Scott) isn’t exactly what she had in mind, his spangly hot pants matching his platform disco boots, and a quantity of flesh on show that would make even Kim Kardashian blush. As she valiantly searches for a prick, we remember it’s a panto and demand someone to boo. Enter: The Evil Mangelina (Miss Dusty ‘O’) and her trusty yet perpetually horny sidekick, Tit-Bit (Rachael Born), who plan to put a vague yet terrifying “Christmas curse” on the perverted pantoland.

Sleeping Booty! LST - L-R Paula Masterton, Leon Scott - Credit Marc Abe [wlogo]With musical numbers galore, we’re treated to the very best of classic and contemporary songs bastardised beyond belief; think Frozen’s “Love is an Open Door,” adulterated to describe an opportunistic orgy, and Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest” welcoming you to a fetish club. Despite the utter ridiculousness of it all, they’re actually very well executed thanks to musical director Nick Barstow, with notably strong vocals from Fairy Muff, Paula Masterson.

Alice Marshall is sassy as Booty, getting her twerk on in a way that rivals Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda – though Booty is decidedly more multi-dimensional than most panto heroines, and is surprisingly well-acted throughout. Miss Dusty ‘O’ delivers the obligatory glitz, Rachael Born the dead-pan silliness, and Leon Scott some quite remarkable horsemanship, but a special mention has to go to Alexander Beck. Beck sings and acts with talent and aplomb, vigorously versatile in all his roles, most memorably as camp stylist Hans. All of the cast have a dizzying amount of energy and enthusiasm, appearing to have an absolute ball performing. Their affection for the show is utterly infectious, especially as it’s so up-close and interactive, and there are moments when you can literally feel them clinging on to straight faces.

In case it wasn’t obvious already, this is a very adult show. If you’re of a nervous disposition or you’re anxious about audience participation, it probably isn’t the show for you. If you’re offended by strong language, stick to Cinderella. If you don’t want to listen to chat about sex, or STIs or genitalia, give it a swerve. But if the prospect of a relentless romp of hilarity is an appealing one, you can’t do much better than getting in on some Booty action.

Maintaining a throbbing momentum from start to finish, Sleeping Booty! is a filthy festival of fondling, frottage and fellatio. The screaming orgasm of pantomimes.

Dates: Tuesday 25 November to Saturday 17 January, 2015.

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Images: Marc Abe

Star Rating

Ginger Hibiscus don’t like using stars as a headline; we think they’re too reductionist, and that decision-making based on stars misses the point of a review. Just as you wouldn’t judge a personality using a five-point scale, theatre is multi-dimensional. So have a read, and then look at the stars afterwards.
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