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Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, King's Theatre, Glasgow

Review of the Beauty and the Beast pantomime at Glasgow's King's Theatre

Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, King's Theatre, Glasgow

Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, King's Theatre, Glasgow

This years offering for the King's Theatre annual pantomime is Beauty and the Beast. When an old beggar woman approaches a vain prince asking for shelter, he turns her away because of her haggared apperance. When she reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress, he offers her help but it is too late and she curses him to live as a beast until he learns the meaning of true beauty.

Set in a magical town called Clydeside, we are introduced to the villagers by Shuggie (Darren Brownlie) and his lovely sister Belle (Blythe Jandoo) who is celebrating her birthday today. All she's asked for is a single rose and her brother heads to the castle grounds to get one for her. As with most pantomimes, the story kind of fades into the background as the (partially controlled) chaos ensures.

Mrs Potty (Elaine C Smith) and Jack Potty (Johnny Mac) are allowed to leave the castle one day a year to head into town and they return home to find that Shuggie has been imprisoned by the Beast for tresspassing.

The comedy trio are absolute dynamite and while their timing and rapport are perfect, the adlibs are what really makes the show. The children in the audience adore Johnny Mac and one of the biggest laughs of the night came from what I suspect might have been a genuine concussion... While the dynamic duo worked brilliantly together at the King's for years, it was the addition of the sensational Darren Brownlie in 2021 that was the real star on the top of the tree for me.

Yes, the Crossroads pantomimes are formulaic but the kids love it. Gags are recycled across the country and crop up year after year but they go down a treat. Crossroads aren't known for doing things by halves and there is always a big Act One finale which is completely nonsensical but altogether joyful.

There are original songs sitting alongside pop hits, the costume design is stunning and everything about the staging screams decadence. It's still all pure panto though and all the expect boos, cheers and 'its behind you's are there.

I've sat through many a panto with a big budget that has felt utterly souless so its not always a case of just throwing money at something to cash in for Christmas. Beauty and the Beast at the King's Theatre has so much heart alongside the spectacle and it is largely owed to their exceptional cast. Pure panto magic.

Photo credit: Richard Campbell



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