REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast, Westovian Theatre, South Shields, until January 21

The cast of Beauty and The Beast.
The cast of Beauty and The Beast.
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You think it’s all over? Oh well no it isn’t, pantomime is still alive and well.

The Westovian production of Beauty and The Beast oozes all the traditional ingredients, from the take-off, to the slop scene, oh no it isn’t, to community song.

This magical show, yes there is lots of magic, has it all, jam packed with story line, characters, not forgetting Brian the chicken, colourful sets, costumes and endless humour, for kids and adults alike.

This enchanting fairy story version by South Shields award-winning writer, Philip Meeks, has a French twist. Ty Roach as dashing Prince Pierre is transformed into a terrible beast and must fall in love before the last petal falls from the magic rose bush if he is to break the spell.

Complications arise when Madam Bon Bon, the fairy, endearingly played by Erin Atack and the dastardly David G Foster as evil Mr Diablo clash and together with Belle (Ashley Mitchell), her father Baguette (Mark Lamb), the Dame Fifi,(Stephen R Sullivan) and son Bertie (Craig Richardson) are all banished to Castle Beast.

The dynamic duo of Sullivan and Richardson are a joy to watch on stage, bouncing off each other, in some instances, literally. Sullivan and Lamb have a hilarious duet with terrific live music throughout the show provided by musical director Jonny Winter.

Annie Cairns as Camilla Parker Bike is a scary Margaret Thatcher look alike with Gary Manson playing her simpleton brother Claude, chalking up lots of boos. More humour comes from the diminutive Darci Shaw playing Millie who as Bertie says 'is just weird'.

The show is well supported with excellent song and dance routines.

Gareth Hunter, straight from his success as Mayor in Jack and the Beanstalk at The Customs House, along with assistant Iain Cunningham, do sterling jobs as directors. This is a beauty of a show and after the festive season, is guaranteed to lift the spirits; it certainly put a smile on the faces of the packed house.

Few tickets remain £9 adults £7 children under 12 from theatre box office tel 0191 4560980

Runs until January 21.