Sleeping Beauty Stars Richard Elis & Michael Geary Discuss Newport Panto Success

Sleeping Beauty Stars Richard Elis & Michael Geary Discuss Newport Panto Success

As Newport Riverfront’s glittering pantomime for 2018/19, Sleeping Beauty, enters the third week of its run, two of the shows principal cast members have been talking to Entertainment South Wales for our latest podcast.

Richard Elis who stars as Muddles the Gardener and Michael Geary who plays Lord Griffin of Newport are delighted to be involved with this year’s show that offers two hours full of song, dance, drama and fun for all the family.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty on stage at Newport Riverfront. Photo Credit Kirsten McTernan

The cast of Sleeping Beauty on stage at Newport Riverfront. Photo Credit Kirsten McTernan

A reimagining of the traditional Sleeping Beauty story, the pantomime includes several local references that the audience will be familiar with.

“Richard Gauntlet has set it in 1918,” explains Richard Elis to Andy Howells, “So we start in the past and when we jump forward, to Newport now! (present day)!”

“We’ve got a genuine new cloth that’s been painted specifically for this show of a massive landmark that everybody knows!”

The pantomime is full of genuine belly laughs and there’s no better way than generating these than to turning to classic comedy routines.

Richard Elis explains his favourite moment from Sleeping Beauty, “For me, there’s a bell ringing scene in the abbey. It’s a French comedy act and they used to do it in the Music halls. I love that kind of stuff!”

Co-star, Michael Geary offers an explanation as to why the cast get enjoyment from performing fun routines with a link to comedy tradition.

“What’s really lovely is you get to form routines that you’ve seen and listened to. You can say I’m part of this now, I’ve done this on stage and got to be one of these people whose put this across!”

Michael continues,“There’s another scene which Rich does with some suitcases.  It’s a cracker! When you watch people who know what they are doing, (which these guys do1) They really make it fly!”

Richard Elis stars as Muddles in the Newport Riverfront pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. Photo Credit Kirsten McTernan

Richard Elis stars as Muddles in the Newport Riverfront pantomime, Sleeping Beauty. Photo Credit Kirsten McTernan

Importantly, Sleeping Beauty for all its comedy, remains full-on family entertainment. This remains a reason why Richard Elis has become a regular mainstay of the Newport Riverfront pantomime cast over the last decade.

“Although we walk a line of double entendre, we never go blue,” explains Richard, “I don’t think anyone will leave this theatre having to explain to a five-year-old what “that bit” was about! We do not have any smut at all – that’s important!”

Michael Geary sums up the show’s success,

“There’s fun for all the family, lots of really great tunes in it, great routines and it’s just good fun. There’s a real comradery on stage which just spills over into the audience.”

Listen to the full interview with Richard and Michael on the fourth edition of the Ents South Wales Audio Supplement podcast.

  • Sleeping Beauty continues at Newport Riverfront until January 6, 2019. For further information visit newportlive.co.uk/riverfront or contact the box office on 01633 656757.

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