Town hall panto is pure magic for all the family
WITH Christmas fast approaching the panto season has arrived in Loughborough and flying high and low, oh yes they do, onto the Town Hall stage, the award-winning Little Wolf Entertainment company returns with their latest superb pantomime ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in spectacular style!
All the traditional elements of pantomime were delivered, a classic tale, high quality musical numbers and singing, excellent pitching of innuendo to keep the adults happy and the customary kids’ chat that is always pure comedy gold.
Plot wise the story is set in the fictional French village of MontSurRelle or possibly surreal, when an arrogant prince is turned into a hideous beast only to be saved by a declaration of love by the book-loving beautiful Belle, helped by her friend Idle Jack and his mother Betty the bell ringer who also find themselves trapped in the prince’s castle, the scene now set for some madcap adventures - well, it is pantoland after all.
Director and writer Morgan Brind’s script is innovative, witty and always uniquely geared to the theatre’s community with just some of the comedy targets being Mountsorrel although Quorn and Syston were thrown into the mix, the bells of the Carillon and a brief reference to Brexit via teabags (don’t ask!) plus the usual unfortunate victim on the third row, who the night I attended, was a certain Paul from Mount- sorrel.
And so to the multi-talented cast as some old and new faces graced the Loughborough stage, first-timers Rebecca Gilliland as Belle and Adam Pettit, the Prince/ Beast were equally matched in their strong vocal talent and full marks to Adam for his tear-jerking rendition of ‘She’ - not easy to deliver through a full hairy mask.
Pantomime wouldn’t be pantomime without a villain for the children to let rip to hiss and boo and Rosanna Miles as the evil Enchantress, who admits she loves playing a baddie, revelled in the role.
Two returning favourites were Kristian Cunningham playing Idle Jack together with James Peake as the customary Dame this year taking on the guise of Betty Bou Bou the bell ringer resplendent in creative, ridiculous but totally hilarious costumes, look out for the marble bust on a pillar, an absolute triumph, both this pair never fail to entertain and the slapstick sequence requiring the removal of a large bell, with echoes ringing of a certain ‘Only Fools and Horses’ sketch was brilliant stuff.
Tremendous support from the remainder of the cast including the talented local performers plus the hardworking backstage crew who made the transformation of the flying Beast to Prince entirely unbelievably mesmerising ensured that once again Little Wolf didn’t disappoint in producing a spellbinding and traditional pantomime that is pure magic for the whole family.