It’s a tale as old as time, but not in the Technicolor Disney sense. Good versus evil, a traditional love story and a right royal knees up all come together in Upstage Productions’ retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
With just the right balance of humour and pathos, we are swept along by the drama as the evil Fairy Frostbite (played with cutting wit by Colleen Daley) hatches a sinister plot, until her spell is broken by true love.
Using popular music to embellish the story and give a chance for youngsters from local dance schools to strut their stuff, the cast adhere to the traditional panto format.
Sarah Accomando plays a perfect Belle to Michael Woolston-Thomas’ dapper Prince/Beast, who learns the lesson of true beauty - that it comes from within.
Omar Okai steals the show as Dame Dotty - larger than life, full of sauce and with a turn at going Gangnam Style, she’s a dame to remember.
There is enough audience participation to get everyone going and the kids all up and joining in, but not so much that the parents in the audience are fearful.
The story is simple enough, the cast’s portrayal thespy enough and the references to popular culture current sufficient to keep everyone entertained for the duration.