Beauty and The Beast is classic panto fun

So it’s Christmas time again and with all the traditional goings on, the obligatory Panto visit hit the Pearson household last Friday.

With 4 kids in tow, my wife and I could hardly contain our excitement, when I say I …

This year’s festive treat is Beauty and The Beast at The Capitol Theatre in Horsham. Wrapped in coats. hats and scarfs, we braved the 16 degree weather and made it to our destination. Our seats were in the circle at the very top at the very back, nothing to do with me booking the tickets late, I just like a full panoramic view of the stage..ahem.

As we sat, ready for commencement, a sudden burst of sound rang out across the auditorium: What was this? The Star Wars theme tune? Had my inner wishes come true? Had we booked the wrong tickets and were, in fact, about to witness the the masterpiece that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens?….

No, this was the first of many star wars related puns which would occur throughout the performance, hurrumph!

The audience found it hilarious and I gave a reluctant titter. The curtains lifted and we were off. I could see the kids’ excited faces from the glow of their flashy, spiny, lighty things, which we’d purchased from the kiosk earlier. The opening scene began to tell the story of how the Beast became and within seconds we were gripped.

We were then introduced to the cast, one by one, and the French town of Ors-Ham. Next, came a request to participate (as is the panto tradition) by shouting BONJOUR, every time a character said hello, and WEE WEE, when D’Jon (played by Mike Goble) asked ‘Are you alright, gang?’ The kids found the latter, hilarious.

It wasn’t long before we were all screaming and shouting at the stage. All actors were great, with DC (played by Olly Pike) providing entertainment, with his star wars gags and high pitch voice, and the dame, Mademoiselle Renee Tasse De The (pronounced ‘Tay’, played by Alex Wadham) giving us, parents, the grown up humour. I won’t say too much about the half naked male dancers, but they all seemed like very nice chaps.

In one scene, the Beast (played by Tom Senior) sang a sad solo piece very well, so much so, my 4 year old had a tear in her eye – a sure sign of approval!

The dancing and singing was on point and the flame juggling and fire pyrotechnics gave the play a real west end flare…. I thank you.

A great evening was had by all and we look forward to next year’s Aladdin.

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