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Beauty and the Beast

“Falls slightly flat”

This year’s pantomime at the Theatre Royal Bath has two elements to it: the Disney-fied tale of the impoverished Belle (Clare Maynard) and the cursed Beast (Shaun Dalton), and the traditional panto sketch numbers and singalong moments.

The latter of theses works a lot better than the former. Returning favourites Nick Wilton and Jon Monie, as mother-and-daughter duo Polly La Plonk and Louis La Plonk, keep the audience entertained, providing most of the laughs and most of the audience interaction.

The storytelling parts, however, work far less successfully. Maynard’s Belle is perennially chirpy and sweetly unwilling to write-off the angry reclusive Beast, despite what everyone tells her. But their interactions are scripted almost entirely without jokes and because there’s little genuine chemistry, the scenes end up seeming oddly flat and lack the pizzazz needed to keep the festive atmosphere alive.

The result is an uneven show that doesn’t always hold the audience’s attention, although post-interval the pace and the general energy levels pick up and it becomes a more buoyant affair.

Monie is, as always, very sweet when talking to the group of volunteer children on stage. Likewise, the inclusion in the pantomime of a group of young performers from the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance (a local performing arts school) gives the production a nice community feel, making up for some of the less engaging aspects of the show, which could do with a little bit more fairy dust to really make it fly.

Related to this Review

Peter Pan

Production Details
Production nameBeauty and the Beast
VenueTheatre Royal Bath
StartsDecember 12, 2019
EndsJanuary 12, 2020
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorJon Monie
DirectorMichael Gattrell
Musical directorJoshua Newport
Set designerCharlie Camm, Jason Bishop, Jon Harris
Lighting designerNev Milsom
Sound designerNigel Bayliss
CastNick Wilton, Ben Harlow, Clare Maynard, Jon Monie, Marcus Knibbs, Shaun Dalton, Wendi Peters, Matilda Jarvis
Production managerAndy Batty
Company stage managerJack Opie
Head of wardrobeElizabeth Dennis, Louise Curwen
ProducerTheatre Royal Bath
VerdictCommunity-focused Christmas show that falls slightly flat
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Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

Rosemary Waugh

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