Beauty and the Beast
8th December 2017
Bourne Corn Exchange
Type of Production
Author: Peter Breach
The storyline for this pantomime is taken from an old French folk tale which tells of a Prince (Stuart Giddings) who is under an enchantment by the wicked witch, Malabelle (Alison Kirby) for declining to marry her and has been turned into a fearsome ugly Beast (Chris Walker). Local beauty, Rose (Amelia Worgan) has to go and live with the Beast in his castle. Meanwhile, Rose’s mother (Andrew Walpole) tries hard to look after the family home and her son Jaques (James Shawley). At this point I should explain that the writer of this pantomime is Ben Crocker who, besides including the entire usual ingredients one expects to find in a traditional panto, has a tendency to embellish his stories in order to make them even more interesting! In this story Jaques gets friendly with a girl called Capucine (Tracy Hulme), who is the village blacksmith and is physically very strong. Another embellishment is the introduction of Felix (Joanna Dawn Brooks), a smart-talking giant French poodle with a fantastic costume and a French accent – well you’d expect that wouldn’t you; this creature’s “dog behaviour” was amazingly realistic.
All the principals were quickly into character and soon established their respective relationships with members of the audience, especially Ma and Malabelle, who were particularly good at this; after all booing and cheering is an essential part of any good pantomime! Other players in supporting roles included Aimee (Chloe Lorentzen), Talking clock (Alison Clark), Remy (Roseanna Clark), Lamp (Isobel Youll), Chest of Drawers (Meredith Marsh), Table (Darcy Owen) and Rug (Scarlett Middleton).
The Youth Chorus featured Olivia Bodmer, Tigan Wolsey, Lauren Adams, Hettie Baker, William Hulme and Casey Wolsey; their contributions were uplifting and it was good to see a front row of the chorus with smiling faces as these young people sang their hearts out. Members of the LDC Dance troupe, which included Bea Immink, Gracie Eddicott, Millie Hill, Lucy Lavery, Sophie Wilson and Kiana Digby - performed some spectacularly fast dance routines that drew sustained applause from the large audience. These young people certainly moved their feet fast.
Congratulations to all who were involved in this very entertaining production!