Beauty and the Beast

Date 27th January 2018
Society Alnwick Theatre Club
Venue The Playhouse. Alnwick
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Susan Joyce
Choreographer Helen Gee-Graham


Author: Kathryn Curry

Everyone loves an old fashioned tale and this year with the choice of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in Panto form; this was a winner for Alnwick Theatre Club. This age old story proved a hit with the audience who as ever filled the theatre to capacity and awaited curtain up in anticipation and were not disappointed. As ever this society always gives us a colourful set and authentic props; consequently as the curtain opened we were off to a good start. As the story unfolded with slick scene changes and very effective lighting everyone settled into a thoroughly entertaining evening. This age old fairy tale of two extremely diverse characters that become friends and ultimately fall in love was extremely well cast with traditional characters, and with the addition of new ones the show ensured there were all the usual pantomime elements. A good selection of musical numbers enhanced the whole production.

This year the company benefited from lots of new members who easily became involved with all the old stagers. All on stage were well rehearsed and enthusiastic and it was lovely to see lots of youngsters in the production. Helen Gee-Graham was at her best as the ‘Beast’ and acted and sang to perfection. Her costume was excellent. ‘Belle’ played by Lucy Draper gave a lovely performance as the dreamy girl, plummeted into a hostile environment where she had to assert herself. She did this very convincingly. ‘Emrengarde’ Rowan Heart and ‘Esmerelda’ Rebekah Sayer were great together as Belle’s older sisters, the alter ego ‘Ugly Sisters. They certainly milked their parts to create a wonderful contrast to Belle. The introduction of ‘The Local Beauticians’ respectively ‘Marcel’ Peter Biggers and ‘Monique’ Beth Croft was brilliant casting as they were hilarious. Peter has missed his true vocation he was so funny and had the audience in fits of laughter. ‘Flora’ – Flower Fairy played by Gill Lyons was a good match to the immortal sorceress ‘Belladonna played to perfection by Carol Lawrence. Carol as ever had put all the extra touches to her costume and portrayed the evil element into her character as an evil ‘Seductress’ a great and imaginative twist to the usual evil witch. ‘Gustave’ - the local hunk was well played by Oliver Pusey who was extremely funny, as was ‘Madam Fifi’ – the French maid played by Trevor Hughes. Two very polished performances from them.  ‘Jacques’ – Fifi’s lazy son played by youngster Cameron Cullen was a lovely part for this talented young man. He has such lovely stage presence and portrayed the part with real insight into the laid back character he was meant to be. Other minor parts deserve mention as they were well acted by John Firth, Callum Scott and Richard Glenn.

Once again we were treated to lovely dance routines by the dancers of the ‘Alnwick Academy of Dance’. Costumes, routines, and dancers were all of a high standard and were a delight to watch. Well done Girls! As said before I would love to see them featured more in these pantomimes.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening and could not fail to be enjoyed by all. Well done Alnwick Theatre Club in yet another successful production.