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Panto Review: Beauty and the Beast at Nottingham Arts Theatre

5 December 18 words: Caitlin Scott

We got down to Nottingham Arts Theatre to check out this year’s panto: Beauty and the Beast

The venue was packed full of families, and a few young adults, all ready to enjoy some festive entertainment. Soon enough, everyone was singing along to classic Abba renditions and waving glowsticks about.

The show included a wide array of colourful characters, many of which – amusingly – did not appear in the original storyline. One of these was the crowd-pleaser Idle Jacques, a young man in a bright red costume who called out to the children in the audience and got everyone involved with a few games.

Dame Macaron, the baker at Belle’s father’s café, was more for the amusement of the adults. She made jokes loaded with innuendos and even picked poor “Carl from Stockport” out of the crowd, winking at him and teasing him for the rest of the show.

Gustave was a particular success too; his reception was mostly screams and wolf whistles. The whole show was filled with popular songs, at one point they even managed to fit in the internet sensation Baby Shark, and everyone in the audience stood up and joined in. There were also plenty of puns and dad jokes in the script to keep the parents awake.

The Beast and Belle’s romance was closer to the original story, considering she forgets about him imprisoning her father fairly quickly after seeing his enormous library, and instantly falls in love.

The entire show was very sweet, and the young children in the chorus wobbling through their dance steps made it even more endearing. When they brought children from the audience on stage at the end, a four-year-old girl wearing a Belle costume declared that her favourite character was the Enchantress, to which Dame Macaron raised her eyebrows and said “Hmm maybe an Enchantress costume next time, Mum?” Funny stuff.

The pantomime ended in a lively manner with a Christmas song, fake snow and a wedding. Beauty and the Beast was wonderfully heart-warming, inducing many eye-rolls and a lot of laughter, as any successful pantomime should.

Beauty and the Beast is running at Nottingham Arts Theatre until Sunday 16 December 2018

Nottingham Arts Theatre website

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