Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PACE at the Art Department, Paisley

Beauty and the Beast runs until 31 December 2023

By: Dec. 03, 2023
Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PACE at the Art Department, Paisley

Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PACE at the Art Department, Paisley

Beauty and the Beast is PACE Theatre's 34th pantomime production at The Art Department. This is the second year the panto has been staged inside its temporary venue in The Paisley Centre. 

Written and directed by Andy McGregor, Beauty and the Beast is a story about a struggling single mother who wants to seek her fortune in order to make her daughter's dreams come true. Betty Bouquet (Chris Alexander) wants to give her daughter Bonnie (Katie Weir) the opportunity to leave home and become a teacher but they're struggling as the mayor has just doubled their already crippling taxes.

When Betty receives news that she's inherited a fortune she heads out with trusted family friend Arty Farty (Alan Orr) to the big city on the other side of the forest, via a mysterious castle... Betty is imprisoned by the Beast (Tommy McGowan) and Bonnie sets off to rescue her mum. 

This production of Beauty and the Beast has everything you'd want from a pantomime. Chris Alexander makes for a spectacular dame and Alan Orr is utterly charming as the very sweet but not-so-bright Arty. Evil is rarely as glamorous as Dani Heron's brilliant wicked witch/mayoress. Not content with just raising the taxes, she's determined to stop Betty from receiving her inheritance and will stop at nothing to steal it for herself. There's plenty of opportunity for boos and audience participation which is really lovely in a more intimate setting. There's one particular section where the setting allows for any child to join the cast for a sing and a dance. The odds for sweetie catching are also significantly improved from what they would be in a larger space.

PACE Theatre has a young cast made up of four different teams and it was team two for this particular performance. Every single cast member is working really hard and it pays off in this fantastic family show. The set design is great, the script is fresh and fun and the costumes are fab. I think it's safe to say after the last two years that the PACE annual pantomime will be a firm repeat in my festive schedule! 

Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic




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