Mumbler Review: Beauty & the Beast Panto at Victoria Theatre
Of all the fun Christmas traditions, going to the panto is one of our favourites.
This year, it’s Beauty & the Beast taking to the stage at Victoria Theatre, Halifax, telling the tale of Belle, her beast and the colourful characters of Soggy Bottom.
This panto visit was a surprise for my oldest (we let her have a bath and put her pjs on before telling her she was going to the theatre) and her face was an absolute picture, dressed up in Christmas clobber, clutching a bag of sweets and staring at the curtain in glee.
Right from the off, the stage sparkled with energy and Christmas joviality, as the cast belted out fabulous song and dance numbers – mostly songs my seven-year-old knew – and family-friendly gags (with some for the adults too).
My daughter loved the glamorous Enchantress (Lydia Rose Bertie), adored the bounce and energy of Josh (Josh Benson) and Dame Kimmy (Adam Stafford). But she found the prancing and preening Eugine (Matthew Wellman) the most hilarious of all, and had many a giggle at his “I’m so gorgeous” appearances.
Beauty & the Beast has exactly the right balance of slapstick, Christmas sparkle and fairytale storyline, and we were drawn in by every single scene.
There are plenty of custard pies, water play (it’s not just the cast getting wet!) and funny song and dance numbers (12 Days of Christmas was a highlight for us), but the story of Prince Proudfoot being condemned to live as a beast and Belle’s transformation from prisoner to love of his life is wonderfully played out. There are lots of thunder claps and dramatic moments, interspersed with traditional panto gags and sparkling costumes and scenery.
Beauty & the Beast is exactly what a panto should be – good clean fun, with plenty of opportunities to practice your “oh no he didn’t” and “he’s behind you” skills, with lots and lots of laughs.
Beauty & the Beast is at Victoria Theatre until January 5, 2020. Tickets from £16. Box Office: 01422 351158.
This year, Victoria Theatre has decided not to sell flashing plastic toys (or allow them in the theatre) and is selling a range of higher-quality, longer-lasting toys instead, such as soft toys and finger puppets.
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