Sleeping Beauty PS Resource Pack

Sleeping Beauty PS Resource Pack Welcome to the Riverside Theatre and to the pantomime Sleeping Beauty. This pack of information and activities has ...
Author: Gillian Holland
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Sleeping Beauty PS Resource Pack

Welcome to the Riverside Theatre and to the pantomime Sleeping Beauty. This pack of information

and activities has been put together for you to use in class either before or after your visit to the pantomime.

About Sleeping Beauty

➢ Sleeping Beauty is a traditional folk tale first written down and widely published by Charles Perrault.

In his day he was regarded as one of the cleverest men in France, but he did not make up the stories, he simply chose the best local folk tales and gave them good titles.

➢ Charles Perrault, was born in 1628 and died 1703, aged 75.

Sleeping Beauty was one of a collection of famous stories Perrault wrote down. Others are: - Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots), and Cendrillon ou La Petite Pantoufle de Verre (Cinderella).

The Pantomime Story In the pantomime the King and Queen long to have a child of their own and when they are blessed with a baby girl they call her Aurora. They invite all of the important people in the kingdom to the palace for a celebration. During the celebration, the party is interrupted by Vestra, a wicked sorceress who the Royal couple forgot to invite. She is angry but says she has a gift for the princess, but instead casts an evil enchantment over the princess. Vestra decrees that before the sun sets on her eighteenth birthday the princess shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Panics spreads as Vestra leaves, but Fairy Nuff, the princess’s Fairy Godmother says she can dilute the wicked spell and says that the princess shall not die, but fall asleep for a hundred years. After this, to keep the princess safe, Fairy Nuff takes the princess from the palace and hides away in a little cottage in the woods raising Aurora as if she were her own. Eighteen years pass safely until Aurora’s eighteenth birthday arrives. Vestra is furious that she has not seen her wicked plan fulfilled, and questions her servant Maggot about how hard he has been looking. He confirmed that he has been checking every new born baby for the last eighteen years, but the princess has simply vanished. Angry at the news of Maggot’s failure Vestra instructs him to make a spinning wheel. Meanwhile, in the forest, Aurora meets an arrogant prince called Gallant who reveals he is betrothed to marry a princess called Aurora that day. Aurora wonders if the princess could be her, but Fairy Nuff bluffs that it can’t be and she is just a simply country girl. Fairy Nuff then chastises the prince for almost exposing the truth too early and sends him to the palace to make preparations for the princess’s return. Fairy Nuff then takes Aurora to the palace pretending they are going to help with a royal banquet. When they arrive it is revealed that Aurora is really the missing princess and they all celebrate. During the celebration Vestra manages to get into the palace and the princess pricks her finger. Vestra, thinking she has won, laughs wildly. Fairy Nuff explains that the princess is not dead, but has fallen asleep until woken by love’s true kiss. Fairy Nuff then places the entire kingdom under a sleeping spell until the princess is woken. Vestra, still furious, makes vines and thorns grow up around the castle until it is enveloped and inaccessible. One hundred years pass without the castle being discovered, but as the century reaches an end Vestra hears that a prince is approaching from a neighbouring kingdom. She quickly comes up with a plan to steal the love from Aurora’s heart and keep the princess miserable. When the prince arrives Vestra hides in a tall tower and watched her plan unfold. As the prince wakes Aurora she does not fall in love with him as destined, but instead says she has no love to give him. She rejects him and runs away. Woken by the magic fairy Nuff investigates and finds the prince. She quickly works out that Vestra is involved and sets out to find her with the prince. Along the way the King’s jester Giggles finds the princess and vows to help her. Teaming up with Fairy Nuff and the prince they all set off to the West Wing – the scariest place in the castle, where they think Vestra will be hiding. In the West Wing they are scared by ghosts and split up only for the prince Aurora and Giggles to be captured by Vestra. It is then revealed that the ghost was in fact Maggot, Vestra’s sidekick pretending to be a ghost. Fairy Nuff comes to the rescue and fights off Vestra in a magical battle and then returns the love to Aurora’s heart. She instantly falls in love with the prince and they return to the halls of the palace to be married.

History Of Pantomime Pantomime originated in Ancient Greece and became popular in Ancient Rome. “Mime” meaning to imitate and “pantos” meaning all were terms used to describe a style of Greek play using the whole body to communicate, sometimes without words and sometimes with speech added.

See if you can name 3 Plays?

Panto grew as a type of theatre in Italy in the Middle Ages producing travelling players, court jesters, fools and mummers and by the 15th Century religious theatre performers came together with mime artists in Italy to create Commedia D’el Arte. It reached England in the 16th Century and takes many of its ideas from pagan festivals still celebrated in Medieval England, where the world was turned topsy turvy – like men playing women’s parts in panto.

Find a picture of Pierrot on the Internet

As it became more popular, panto became funnier and included lots of references to current events. As theatres became more sophisticated, they used bigger and better effects in panto to make them more magical. There was a decline in popularity by the 19th century when pantomime had practically disappeared from theatre. By this time panto came to be based on the fairy tales we know today.

• •

Can you name a fairy story by the Brothers Grimm? Can you draw a picture illustrating the story?

Victorian pantomimes placed more emphasis on “family”. They are written using familiar stories and fairy tales for family and school audiences, using lots of songs and dances, slapstick and jokes.

What does “slapstick” mean?

Panto today continues much as it did in the Victorian era, with popular entertainers taking the main roles. Music, dance, comedy and drama are all important parts of panto. It is now an accepted part of Christmas entertainment.

Panto Around the world Pantomime is mainly a British tradition, but some other countries where lots of British people have emigrated do also perform panto.

Australia – panto is performed at Christmas in Oz with celebrity stars and lots of gags. They also do panto on the radio.

USA – In America, panto is generally understood to be traditional mime, very different from British Panto! A few states do have pantos though, just like the UK.

Canada – There is a real panto held in British Columbia every year, using lots of local gossip and jokes.

Panto Stories Pantomimes can be based on many different stories. Here are a few of them. Can you think of other stories which might work?

➢ ➢ ➢

Robinson Crusoe Aladdin Cinderella

Classroom Activities 1.

Write the story of the pantomime set in another time. Try Ancient Rome or Victorian London.


The story of Sleeping Beauty is set in the past when there was no electricity, no cars or daily items like a toothbrush. Make a list of items for the jobs that have to be done everyday.

Job Then Now Washing By hand, in a steel tub In a washing machine, no hands Spinning By hand, with a spindle Machines in factories Travel ................................................................... .................................................................................. 3. Talk about the differences in life 100 years ago compared to now. How would people have travelled, been educated, dressed? 4.

Investigate transport in the days of coach and horses.


Think about going to the theatre in the different historical periods. Today we eat sweets and icecream in the interval. What did people buy 100 or 200 years ago. Make a list for each time period.


Draw pictures of the different clothes that people wore throughout history to visit the theatre. Were they comfortable?


A lot of technology is used to create pantomime on the stage. What can you find out about the different jobs involved? What can you find out about stage lighting and sound? How are computers used to help?


How do theatres tell people what show is on? Make a list of the things you would do to spread the news that the panto is in town and everyone should come.


Make up a class newspaper with pictures of the show, a review, advertisements, cartoons and jokes.


Count how many seats are in a row at the theatre? Count how many characters there are in the pantomime? Count how many people are on stage.


Design a new costume for your favourite character


Build a model of the set for one of the scenes in the pantomime using a show box.


Have a look at a list of characters and try walking round the room as each character. Are the walks different? Try pretending to be asleep and then waking and either riding a horse or fighting your way through thorn bushes or a forest.

Illustration © Libby Holcroft

Photocopy this picture and colour it in

Before The Show Pantomime is all about joining in with the fun. Below is a list of responses you can prepare in advance to get the children used to the loud noise associated with pantomime.

What to do when these characters appear. Giggles – Giggles will say ‘Wiggle it gang’ the children need to respond by wiggling where they are sitting and say ‘Wiggle it Giggles’ Fairy Nuff – Fairy Nuff will say ‘Ayup, kiddiwinks’, the children need to respond ‘Ayup, Fairy Nuff’

Audience responses. The main audience response is to Vestra. Every time she appears the audience should BOO. Make sure they boo nice and loud for about five seconds, but then stop so that they can hear what she has to say.

Ways of practicing these responses. Young children can get frightened by the sudden noise practicing the responses; presenting it as a game and explaining that it is normal behaviour for a pantomime audience can help them get used to it. Here are some ways you can get them involved. 1 2 3

Try splitting the class into two groups. Stand them on opposite sides of the room and have a competition to see which group can be loudest. Get some of the children to be Giggles or Fairy Nuff using the phrases above and get the others to respond. Work the responses into lessons to see if they remember what to do over a period of time. Teach the children the responses and then call them out at random times throughout the day to see if they remember. This keeps them on their toes. It’s also a great way to get everyone’s attention.

After The Show Questions 1-7 test observation and memory, while questions 8, 9 and 10 will help promote discussion. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

What is the Jester’s name? What is the name of the Kingdom? What is the name of the Prince’s Kingdom? Who is Vestra’s sidekick? What show is Maggot auditioning for? What was Aurora collecting in the woods How many actors were there in the show? What was your favourite song? What was your favourite part of the show overall? Who was your favourite character?

(Giggles) (Enchantia) (Narcissia) (Maggot) (Britain’s Got Talent) (Berries) (six)