Review: Beauty And The Beast pantomime at New Theatre Royal, Lincoln
Romance is the air at New Theatre Royal, Lincoln, this month as classic fairytale Beauty And The Beast is given the pantomime treatment.
All the ingredients of a pantomime are there in abundance — bright sets, colourful costumes, songs and dance, a good dose of laughter and, of course, lots of audience participation.
Together, it is the perfect recipe for a festive treat for all the family.
There is a dramatic opening as arrogant Prince Roberto (James de Lauch Hay) is cursed to live as a beast unless he genuinely falls in love before the last petal of a rose falls.
After the darkness of the opening, the audience is thrown into a fairytale world where the beautiful Belle (The Voice's Zoe Hanna May) lives.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Jake Quickenden who proved a hit with the audience as self-absorbed Flash Hugo, determined to marry Belle because she would look good on his arm — although Belle has other ideas.
Following Flash around were his groupies, the fabulous Singit Sisters (Vanessa Dumatey, Laura Wenton and Georgia Hayes-Cowley) who only speak lines from movies and regularly break into song.
When Belle's father, Professor Ivor Brainstorm (the excellent Christopher Johnson) goes missing, Belle tracks him down to Beast's castle, where she meets an unlikely collection of staff.
This, for me, is where the pantomime really kicked in as we were introduced to the antics of candlestick Marcel Allumette (Christian Lee) clock Humphrey Battenburg (Chris Hayes) Gigi Vavavoom (Camilia O'Grady) and, of course, the dame Mary Muffintop (Paul Aitchson) and her sidekick Carrie Cupcake (Kyla Hurdley).
They had the audience in stitches with their jokes, magic tricks and sing-a-longs. And that is what pantomime is all about.
Beauty And The Beast runs at New Theatre Royal, Lincoln, until January 9. — SH.