Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale with substance and a message – that real beauty lies within a person.
The opening scene sees a handsome, but arrogant, prince (Ben Richards is an impressive stage presence) turn into the epitome of facial ugliness when he dismisses a penniless old woman.
In true pantomime tradition, she transforms into a lovely young Enchantress (Joanna O’Hare), who becomes the moral compass of the tale. Cut to the pretty home town of Belle (Georgia Lennon), her batty inventor father Paddy (Paddy Jenkins) and the eccentric Mrs Potty (May McFettridge), housekeeper to the prince.
The virtuous Belle, nicely played by newcomer Lennon, is the unwilling object of leering Flash Harry’s (Danny Bayne) affections, but her heart soon turns in an unexpected direction when she trades her freedom for her father’s.
Qdos Entertainment guarantees high production values, visual spectacle and strong musical content. But Mandy Muden’s magician struggles to connect with the audience and a series of random sketch routines divert from the storyline.
Jenkins and McFettridge stumble over lines and frequently digress into comic ad lib territory. However, the more they do this, the more their Belfast fans love them.