Wilma’s rating [rating=3]
This Christmas, Upstage Productions returns to the Radlett Centre in Hertfordshire with Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast is one of the lesser performed pantos this year and so I was happy to go along to see something a bit different!
The show tells the story of a beautiful prince who is transformed into a beast by the wicked Ice Queen. Her spell can only be undone if he receives unconditional love from someone who can see past his looks. Throw in a dame, a slop scene, some cringe-worthy comedy lines and you have yourself a panto! The picnic scene made up for some of the less funny jokes, with some actually quite amusing bear references that made the show more bearable.
Lazy Louis (played by Bradley Fricker) is the loveable cheeky bundle of energy that just can’t stay awake for more than five minutes. The audience help out by shouting ‘wakey wakey’ when they see him dozing off and with all the booing when the Ice Queen appears, this certainly is one panto that gets the audience involved.
Musically this show has all bases covered. Christmas Songs like ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ (sung by the Ice Queen and the Price) were mixed in with musical theatre favourites ‘The Song That Goes Like This’ from Spamalot and a very nice ‘You Can’t Stop The Beat’ from Hairspray. A couple of Take That songs and the obligatory Gangnam Style help out for those audience members more familiar with pop music.
Using the word ‘hashtag’ (a Twitter reference) seems to be becoming the thing to do in theatre shows in 2012. Viva Forever (the Spice Girls musical) is laden with them and it was nice to see panto being brought up to date with this as well.
Beauty and the Beast plays until 31st December 2012. Click here for more information and to book tickets.