Beauty and the Beast Panto at Malvern Theatres - Review

Beauty and the Beast Panto at Malvern Theatres - Review


Posted 2022-12-12 by Alison in Birmingham follow

Thu 08 Dec 2022 - Sun 01 Jan 2023

There's something very charismatic about Malvern Theatre's annual panto. It's not particularly high tech and has a familiar face or two, but it somehow always manages to hit the nail when it comes to the festive feel-good factor.

This year, it's Beauty and the Beast panto that's on til January 1.

Headlining is Melanie Walters from Gavin and Stacey (Stacey's mum) as Fairy Bon Bon but she takes a back seat to the fabulously gregarious panto dame Leon Craig and Malvern favourite Mark James, as the kind of compere.

This panto has already previously won an award and you can see why. It's not often you see Beauty and The Beast as a pantomime but this has been done in such detail and even has well-adapted songs from Les Miserables.

Shaun Dalton as The Beast has such a stunning classical voice that you could be forgiven for feeling like you were at Phantom of the Opera or some other West End musical during his numbers. There's plenty of pop hits too but the balance works well to give this show an extra quality.

There's a French theme, so expect plenty of 'Allo' Allo style pronunciation jokes but who doesn't love a bit of saucy misinterpretation! Beauty and The Beast is zestfully joyful with a cheeky sense of ooh la la from Craig as dame Polly La Plonk and arrogant baddie Hugo Pompidou(an impressively vibrant and comic Phil Atkinson, who played Woody in EastEnders).

Returning comedian Mark James has done numerous pantos here and the kids absolutely love him. He's even already committed to coming back next year for Cinderella.

Playing Belle is Olivia Birchenough from Channel 5's Milkshake! and although she sings well, she fades into the background a little along with Walters compared to the more outrageous characters. I think they both needed to up their tempo a notch to get noticed.

There's a wonderful set that transports the audience to a cursed castle. It's some of the best staging I've seen at Malvern's panto to date.

It may not have the big special effects seen in cities like Birmingham but there is an impressive scene when the Beast transforms back into a Prince live on stage.

Beauty and the Beast panto is a riotous laugh that appeals to all ages. It's fun and madcap but also has a great tale and showstopping songs.

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#theatre -reviews
!date 08/12/2022 -- 01/01/2023
70832 - 2023-01-26 01:49:42


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