Beauty and the Beast

Date 19th January 2017
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Shields
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Gareth Hunter
Musical Director Jonathan Winter
Choreographer Lisa Miller


Author: Foster Johnson

This latest pantomime production from the Westovians was another fine interpretation of the genre.

The format this year was an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast written by Philip Meeks and for copyright reasons the costumes and musical score could not involve those which were used in the stage show and film versions. This proved to be a challenge for Director Gareth Hunter Musical Director Jonny Winter and the rest of the Production Team.  However they rose to it in fine style with the cast bringing a vibrancy and enthusiasm which transmitted to the audience. This made for excellent interaction between cast and audience alike and gave us a happy evening’s night out.

 If there is one thing you get from a Gareth show then it is pace. This flew along in the twinkling of an eye. The audience laughed and, where necessary booed, from start to finish.

As with all shows, of whatever genre, all the elements have to be in tune with each other and it worked a treat. The scenery, sound and lighting were very effective. The scene changes and use of props were smooth from a well drilled team, whilst the small combo was excellent and not overpowering. The choice of music was good and enabled the chorus and dancers to display their singing and dancing talents well, whilst the costumes from front of house looked good as well.

The Show had a very strong Principal line up of 11 and each one fitted seamlessly into the respective roles and interacted well with each other.   Every one of them made their own indelible mark on the show  We had Ashley Mitchell as a delightful Belle, Tye Roach as a strong but equally soft hearted Prince/Beast    Stephen Sullivan as the outlandish Dame Fifi Craig Richardson outrageously funny as usual with his portrayal of Bertie, Annie Cairns and Gary Manson as the evil mother and son Camilla and Claude , Erin Atack  as the impish fairy Madame Bon Bon, the energetic  David Foster as the nasty Mr. Diablo, Mark Lamb as the bungling and bumbling Professor Baguette and last but by no means least the budding talents of Nieve Murphy and Darci Shaw  as Fairy Oo La La and Millie.