BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
Beauty and the Beast isn't a story often performed as a pantomime and after tonight's performance I am struggling to see why. Perhaps I've just overdosed on the likes of Aladdin and Cinderella but this years offering from the Beacon Arts Centre is a welcome change.
Best known as everyone's favourite busybody in Still Game, Jane McCarry makes for an outstanding baddie. Deadly Nightshade has cursed a handsome prince after he rejected her and turns him into a hideous beast. The only way to break the curse would be for someone to fall in love with him in his new form- but who could ever love a beast? Never truly scary but always utterly fabulous, McCarry is a delight from start to finish.
Jimmy Chisholm's Dame Betty is reminiscent of Edna Turnblad from Hairspray. With the most dazzling costumes in the show and a natural ability for adlibs he is definitely one of the highlights of the show. Her son Boabby (played by Lee Samuel) is too shy to come onstage initially so Chisholm prompts the audience with "shout if you want to see Boabby" which sends the adults in the audience into hysterics. Brooke Allan's Belle is sweet and natural and she has a beautiful voice. Mark Cox as Angus was another treat in this wee gem of a panto. Due to the Beast's temperament all of the castle employees have quit their job, leaving only Angus to perform the tasks of 12 other people while keeping up the pretence of a full staff.
Beauty and the Beast exceeded all of my expectations. The sets are stunning, cast are terrific and Alan McHugh's script is wonderful. I can't recommend this pantomime enough!
Ticket information for Beauty and the Beast is available on the Beacon Arts Centre website.