Beauty and the Beast
Info About the Show
Beauty and the Beast
|DATE||28th November 2018|
|SOCIETY||Thomson-Leng Musical Society|
|VENUE||Gardyne Theatre, Dundee|
|TYPE OF PRODUCTION||Pantomime|
|MUSICAL DIRECTOR||Billy Muir|
|CHOREOGRAPHER||Jenni Main/Donna Reilly|
Author: Roger D. Buist
In my vast years of pantomime experience, I have never seen this story presented as a panto, but there is always a first! This well-known tale is recognizable through the well-loved Disney version but, in this production, the strong original story line still holds forth, with the panto element of fun and nonsense interjected throughout the tale. In this version, book-loving Belle has two older sisters, and their mother is trying to marry them all off to rich husbands. Belle was brought to life in a most charming manner by Tamsin Holbrook who meets and stays with the Beast to save her Papa imprisoned in his castle. Her two uppity, sophisticated, and modern-looking sisters, were played with great (and nasty) delight by Emily Moore (Chardonnay) and Lambrini (Terri Roberts). Both had fun when they went to the Beauty Salon to be made more beautiful! But both should have remembered that wine matures when old and tastes much better! Then enter Jean-Claude, our bumptious, (supposed) hero, played with great enthusiasm by Greg McGonigal as a handsome, big-headed, dashing idiot, and, boy, how he revelled in it with his bragging, heroic poses . . . to no avail, because he did not get the girl of his dreams. The panto element was brought to the stage in true Dame tradition by Tom Richmond as Dame Dolly, cracking gags and just being plain silly as he went along in a whirlwind of appearances. The principal boy, Prince Louis, was all “he” should be, a good-looking, striking, long-legged female and, Fiona McRobbie strutted her stuff perfectly in her role until she disappeared off stage when the Beast arrived in our tale. The Prince’s aide-de-camp was equally on a level acting par emulating the Prince and Lucy Reilly was also totally precise for the part of Jacques. Then, the Beast himself . . . Ryan Milne looked superb in this role and desperately wanted someone to love him in order to break the spell put on him by the evil Countess Cruella. There has always got to be a baddie in panto and Zoe Glenn, as the evil Countess, was a sophisticated and seductive villain in every way, but was taken to task by Fairy Rose, a French look-alike sprite, played by Jude Vandecasteele in an appealing manner. Nick Browne was perfect as Belle’s Papa and, who could forget the panto animal Gigi, the horse (Cameron Bell). The society’s youth also made their mark throughout singing the many modern songs and the entire company were at their best in the big ensembles. This was a fine start to what is surely the beginning of this year’s “panto season”!
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