Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
Its panto time at St. Helens Theatre Royal and my family and I were very excited about this one. Beauty and the Beast is a favourite for us and so we were so happy to be starting our half-term with this magical fairy tale and St. Helens Theatre Royal sure did deliver!
The story follows the beautiful Belle (Kiera-Nicole Brennan, presenter of Milkshake) in the little French village of ‘Petit Pois’. Belle is relentlessly pursued by the rather self-absorbed Gaston (Philip McGuinness), who rather reminded me of Donald Trump, and was an absolute laugh a minute. Belle however had eyes for the handsome Prince (Andrew Geater) which Gaston’s mother, Madam Botox (Hannah Potts) was not too happy about and takes it upon herself to make sure that Belle doesn’t fall for the Prince. She gives the unsuspecting Prince a poison which turns him into an ugly beast.
Will Belle still fall for the beast? Can she see passed his ugly exterior or is she destined to live an unbearable life with Gaston and an evil mother-in-law? With the help of his staff French Frank (Lewis Devine) and Potty Polly (Simon Foster) and a touch of magic from Fairy Rose (Maddie Hope Coelho) there may just be hope yet.
The whole performance was so much fun to watch with jokes for the grown-ups as well as the kids. The atmosphere within the theatre was really uplifting and my children were completely absorbed from start to finish. French Frank and Potty Polly have a wonderful chemistry together and knew how to work the audience well, involving us at various points to make for some great genuine and spontaneous comedy.
I love going to the panto at St. Helens it’s always fun and engages all members of the audience and makes the children feel special, in-fact I think I look forward to it more than the kids! Panto is definitely something that all children should experience. My daughter was especially inspired by the young dance groups who did a top job!
Beauty and the Beast is showing until 28th October and if you only go to one panto a year make sure it’s at St. Helens, they never fail to provide a wonderful experience with non-stop of giggles throughout. It’s a 5/5 for me.
Tickets cost from £12 (booking fees may apply).
Beauty and the Beast is at St. Helens Theatre Royal from 20-28 October 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ