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Beauty and the Beast

Published Monday 24 December 2012 at 09:49 by Will Ramsey

With its beastly lead character, secluded in his dark and dingy castle, there’s a pleasant chill to the Spa Bridlington’s panto.

The production has the festive fail-safes - groan-worthy jokes, pump-action water pistols and a celebrity appearance. But the spookier aspects more than offset the sugar.

Craig Phillips is nicely self-deprecating as the arrogant Gaston - along with the body-builder poses, and the kisses on his biceps, there’s a twinkle in his eye. While he’s too pleasant to be a true panto baddie - no-one could bring themselves to boo him - the one-time handyman was more than willing to laugh at himself, not least at the onslaught of a series of DIY gags.

There’s camp support from Ian Parkin as the dame, Madame Fifi, and Apphia Adomakoh as Witch Hazel - a villain who seems to channel the strut of Tina Turner.

But it’s Gary Tushaw as the Beast who carries the show - post transformation, from handsome prince to hairy-faced outcast, he conveys the bewilderment and anger at his predicament.

Beauty and The Beast is a tremendous romp - spooky, without being too scary for the younger audience members, there’s some dark drama which elevates it above standard panto productions.

Production information

The Spa Bridlington, Bridlington, December 18-January 6

Lee Waddingham
Maurice Thorogood
Paul Holman Associates
Cast includes:
Craig Phillips, Lisa Kelsey, Apphia Adomakoh, Gary Tushaw, Ian Parkin and Maurice Thorogood
Running time:
2hrs 35mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014