Jam-packed with excitement, laughs, thrills and lots of spills: What we thought of Beauty and the Beast at Theatre Royal Newcastle
Beauty and the Beast may be a return to the traditional pantomime fairytale – but it is packed with laughs, knife-throwing stunts, perfectly timed comedy moments and thrills and spills, oh there are lots and lots of spills so if you’re sat at the front take a coat.
It is the 31st year Qdos Entertainment has staged the pantomime at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and they are still packing in audiences, with this year’s production the most successful yet.
Father and son duo Clive Webb and Danny Adams take centre stage for their 15th consecutive year at the Theatre Royal and have turned up the dial yet again on the fun, slapsick comedy, knife-throwing dramatics and their trademark double entendre that leaves the audience in tears of laughter.
Sunderland-born Clive leads the show along with perfection and Danny’s energy and enthusiasm on stage is passed on to everyone in the theatre, along with custard pies and lots of water hosepiped to all sections – as the audience participation seems to have stepped up with this year’s show and produced some of the funniest moments.
Danny’s infectious giggle, script slip-ups and catchphrase ‘accideeeent’ sets the comedic tone and is expertly accompanied by explosive pyrotechnical and 3D effects, expert sets and costume designs, and energetic performances by the entire cast, ensemble and youngsters from Marron Theatre Arts.
Danny and Clive are masters of their craft and have returned to the region after staging a mammoth tour of their Cirque Du Hilarious show which performed the length and breath of the country.
It also comes as Danny, joined by his brother Mick Potts, who plays the Castle Idiot, is set to record two further series of their CBBC show Danny and Mick in the new year, which has also featured on-screen appearances by Clive.
Chris Hayward as Mrs Rita Potty is the Theatre Royal’s longest serving dame and the cry of ‘Hello me bonny bairns’ has grown much affection in the panto’s parlance over the past 12 years and is accompanied by Rita’s impressive wardrobe changes from one outstanding costume to another for every scene.
Whitley Bay lad Steve Arnott has taken a sidestep from his usual villainous role to star as Dashing Dick the Candlestick, while Wayne Smith takes on the part of arrogant Flash Harry as he bids to steal the heart of Belle, played by Laura Evans, and kill The Beast, Chris Cowley, before he turns back into Prince Sebastian and is wedded to his new love.
Yet again producer and director Michael Harrison, along with co-writer Alan McHugh, and additional material from Danny and Clive, has seen another high-energy action-packed love story masterfully created.
Qdos Entertainment is this year staging 35 pantomimes nationwide, including its fourth consecutive year at the world-famous London Palladium. Across this year’s panto season they say there will be 44,000 pyrotechnics fired, 9,000 dame costume changes and 3,600 ‘it’s behind yous’ so you can expect to be wowed yet again.
And with this year’s production, which is showing at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle until Sunday, January 19 next year, just getting underway this week, there is lots of time to enjoy the festive show.
For tickets for the spellbinding Beauty and the Beast contact the theatre on 08448 112121 or log onto www.theatreroyal.co.uk