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Beauty and the Beast

Date

9th December 2017

Society

Holland-on-Sea Theatrical Society (HOSTS)

Venue

Holland on Sea Public Hall

Type of Production

Pantomime

Director

Justine Smith

Musical Director

Kerry-May Jackson

Report

Author: ANN PLATTEN

It was good to see the hall really full for this pantomime with so many children present.

A colourful and happy show from HOSTS with some new talent in some of the principal characters which is encouraging.

The set varied from scene to scene with colourful painted backdrops and the furnishings and props were good as were some lovely costumes.

Kathy Ellis as the Narrator did a sterling job off stage, and was very near to the audience with her introduction as the scenes progressed. Several children were quite close by her which she used in a really clever way by involving them in the plot in a ad lib manner, and some of their answers to her questions were so funny and almost like an extension to the script.

The Baddie of the show was Bovver Boots, played very well by Jade Eden who had a great sense of the character and a good clear speaking voice. I really enjoyed her enthusiasm in the part, and together with Goody Two Shoes played by Jackie Fairweather, also with a very confident performance, they created a good duo when on stage together.

The family of Claude Bottom and his two daughters Belle and Smelle were prominent in the story and Barry Sargeant as Claude was confident and caring towards his two daughters.

 Patricia Hunter as Smelle had some very funny lines and did well in this amusing flirty lady as did newcomer Kieran Moss as Carlos who Smelle was very keen to chat up!

Kieran gave a flamboyant air to this character and looked good on stage’

The part of the Beast is such an important one and generally Jake Jackson coped with this role, but I would have liked rather more of a scary Beast until Belle came into his life. I thought his movements on stage rather static and tentative in this role, but a very good effort.

Pierre played by Sheila Bolton was excellent, another first performance with this group, and Sheila sung very well. I hope she gets involved in more productions with this group.

The part of Belle was delightfully played by Molly Ridgeon,a smiling sweet character throughout the show with good diction and looked perfect in this part.

The songs were sung with backing tracks which always needs very careful balance against the singers. It was too loud in places for solo voices especially, and did not give the cast enough support with the melody in the backing tracks coming through, which needed to be more prominent and give some of the cast confidence and help.

“I can do Anything” was a case in point when both ladies coped very well against some very vague backing track, and Belle’s solo towards the end of the show which started off so well but had some real pitching issues during the song, again needed the tune to be more prominent in the backing track for more support in the gentle ballad style number, and it rather lost the feel of a sincere song sung to the Beast.

I thought all the cast did well. In Pantomime it gives every chance to really go OTT and be flamboyant in every role whether principal or chorus. This comes with experience and a good many of the cast were confident on stage which showed, and well done to a very enjoyable production.

It is good to see the company doing so well and gaining new members and giving support to a very dedicated team effort here.

The very best wishes for your continued success in 2018. Thank you for the warm welcome from members on front of house.