Beauty and the Beast

Date 28th November 2015
Society Bramrocks
Venue Margaret Mack Room, Rockland St Mary
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Ken Holbeck
Musical Director Stephen Cox
Choreographer Sandra Barker

Report

Author: Susan DuPont

The Lazy Bees script was very suitable for the group and a good story line, pulled together and casting worked under direction Ken Holbeck, with support from Sandra Barker and Stephen Coe. A very colourful set showed the action well and set the mood, and complimented by colourful costumes: all very illustrations in childrens’ books.

Good to see your youthful mini-roles (who doubled in chorus), Alex Swift (Clock), Naomi Brand (Ambassador) and Owen May (Secretary) all very clear and strong in the dialogue, and with the other children gave energy to the chorus numbers, and future hopes.

What excellent timing and sustaining of characters and playing to the moment and to each other from Igors 1 and 2: certainly Louisa Dixey and Jack Allen were polished, synchronised, and funny, and although youthful, an excellent addition to the casting with their professional approach.

Clive Gordon as Mrs Bustle a very traditional ‘dame’ character, colourful and very busy as she dipped her finger into the pie. A strong performance from Alexandra Evans as the Merchant, definitely held the stage and the story, worked well with her beautiful daughter and with situation with her captor. The two terrible daughters might have escaped from Cinderella except they were quite glamorous, Prudence (Beth Marshall) always looking to the way of money, and Charity (Jess Adby) after the biggest wedding ever, well portrayed with great personality, and the poor suitor Captain Henry (Paul Tranter) certainly did not deserve to marry into the family. However the Prince Pavel of Joe Daniels did but to another sister (clever doubling engaged for those transformations).

What a great role to play to the full, all want to be the ‘baddie’ and be wicked and booed, certainly Sandra Barker wound up the audience into an attack, she obviously relished her time (and appearance) on stage as she manipulated the story but had to accept final defeat, excellent.

And to the title roles: as Belle, Kate Cox had style and dignity and sympathy and kindness in full, certainly she interacted very well with her family and with her captor, a very good realisation of the character in the book (and she looked good too). And as the Beast, Nickolas Dixey dominated the small stage and the action, but how he was tamed with love.