BEAUTY and the BEAST

Date 28th February 2019
Society Ruthin Panto Society
Venue THEATR JOHN AMBROSE, RUTHIN
Director Polly Snape
Musical Director Polly Snape
Choreographer Hanna Medi Roberts

Report

Author: LYN EMMERSON

Once again Ruthin Panto Society delighted the crowds with their production of Beauty and the Beast. Based on the fairy tale ‘La Belle et la Bete’, the piece got off to a good start with an energetic ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ from the chorus with ladies adorned in a selection of beautiful crinolines. The set was cleverly designed by Dave Snape and constructed and managed by a very professional back stage crew led by Stage Manager, Haydn Peers. The large rose, rear centre stage was stunning to say the least, with the surrounding scenery particularly in tune with the story. A highlight was the lowering of panto favourite Gavyn Edwards, as the popular Auntie Gertie, on to the stage whilst singing ‘Let Me Entertain You’ – what an entrance!! – Well done chaps!! It was good to see Ruthin Youth Theatre again on stage, further developing their confidence and stage craft, and entering fully into the production as Village People, Superheroes, Wolves, and generally supporting the cast in many scenes.  

Gavyn again gave us a professional portrayal of the loveable Auntie Gertie involving the audience, together with Billy, played by Dave Snape. The two worked well together throughout the performance, extracting every ounce of comedy from the script, together with a good sprinkling of ad libs, not forgetting the sprinkling of water received by the audience, towards the end of the performance. Ellie Roberts was spot on as Belle, with a sterling performance from Thomas Manktelow as Prince Hugo (Beast), both were in fine voice throughout. Gwyddfid Spencer gave us a chilling performance as the evil Uma. Thoroughly steeped in the character, Uma was accompanied by eight small wolves, who carried out their tasks with aplomb. Matt Roberts gave a commanding characterisation in the enviable role of Gaston, with Mike van der Eijk coping well with the role of Belle’s father, Maurice. There were many minor roles in this production, all well carried out. Mrs Bea, Deb Astles: Biff, Becky Hughes: Mimi, Emma Parry: Lulu, Ceri Wyn Jones: Pierre, James Eccleston and Izzy the Chef, Simon Nagington and I mustn’t forget the contribution from Carolyn Burkey as Cyril the Squirrel who melted a few hearts.

I was impressed by the chorus groupings and choreography which involved a large number of players, this worked well. Chorus numbers were well rehearsed and disciplined throughout involving both adults and youngsters. Costumes were again of the highest order and added to the success of this pantomime. There were a few hiccups with sound the evening I was there, but I am sure these were quickly ironed out for the remaining performances. A great evening’s entertainment and another feather in the cap of this enthusiastic group. Congratulations to all concerned for all your hard work, and keeping Pantomime alive in the area. Thank you very much.