Review: Beauty & The Beast at Louth Playgoers Theatre

Louth Playgoers are proud to present their Beauty and the Beast pantomine.'Pictured is:  Dr Ernest Pettle (Ruairidh Greig) Beatrice Pettle (Sophie Claypole) Concorde the horse (himself) Belle Pettle (Molly Marie Buckley) and Barclay Burke (Jack Lovett). EMN-141215-152023001
Louth Playgoers are proud to present their Beauty and the Beast pantomine.'Pictured is: Dr Ernest Pettle (Ruairidh Greig) Beatrice Pettle (Sophie Claypole) Concorde the horse (himself) Belle Pettle (Molly Marie Buckley) and Barclay Burke (Jack Lovett). EMN-141215-152023001
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by Stuart Spendlow

Producer: Derek Smith | Director: Jamie Harris | Musical Director: Keith Weston

Beauty & The Beast is billed as a pantomime. I’d argue against that. This isn’t really a pantomime. But don’t switch off just yet.

You see, what Beauty & The Beast is, is one phenomenal family production that is bursting at the seams with energy, excitement and magic. It’s a gripping production right through, from the powerful narrated introduction (and, my goodness, it’s beautiful) right through to the powerful full-gusto finale. Smith and Harris have done incredible justice to John Hewer’s lively, hilarious script and they bring Lincolnshire the top notch entertainment that it deserves.

Molly-Marie Buckley is gorgeous in every way as Belle; Jack Lovett is a joy to never-stop- watching as the gormless Barclay and Sophie Claypole is just pure evil as Belle’s wicked sister, Beatrice. Ooh she’s mean!

Janet West is incredibly versatile and fun-loving as the delightful Fairy Wayward; Ruairidh Greig is a tip-top balance of comedy and calm, and the rest of the cast are brilliant. Properly brilliant.

Smith and Harris have meticulously planned the choreography of scenes to ensure that there’s always something happening somewhere - taking full advantage of a large stage space and auditorium.

The expertly directed scenes (trust me - you’ll not see a single line of cast members reciting half-learnt lines) are strengthened even further by the unparalleled performances from Nicky Wright’s Studio 2000 - providing all the glitz, glamour and talent you’d expect to find.

Despite the occasional hollow sounding track, the music and vocals are incredible. Seriously. Huge credit to Keith Weston for arranging and directing this aspect in such a professional and smooth way. His passion rings out from the orchestra pit as he guides the cast throughout. Harmonies ring out and solos raise hairs - and the cast make it look so damn easy! At times, I was quite literally in awe of the sound before my very eyes...or ears.

All production elements - lights, sets, costumes and props - create an immersive experience and, whilst the short-lived slapstick doesn’t quite fulfil, it’s both warming and refreshing to see a fairy-tale brought to life so successfully by an amateur group.

For example, when you see a ballroom full of colour, character and glimmer so reminiscent to those seen in children’s’ books, you cannot help but be stunned. And when the farcical bedroom scene runs in such a slick manner, you cannot help but burst into fits of laughter.

You’ll enjoy Beauty & The Beast massively and you’ll definitely hear a buzz around town - so make sure that you don’t miss out.

Beauty and the Beast runs until Saturday 17th.

Tickets are available from Box Office on 01507 600350 or online at www.louthplaygoers.com

Cast list:

Belle Pettle - Molly Marie Buckley
The Prince - James Burgess
Beatrice Pettle - Sophie Claypole
Dr Ernest Pettle - Ruairidh Greig
Barclay Burke - Jack Lovett
Susan Preem - Richard Lyon
Richard Entwistle - Rob Mapletoft
Brigette - Laura Kelly
Gilette - Holly Mapletoft
Fairy Wayward - Janet West
Concorde the Horse - Himself
Clarence Clanger - Scott Lovett

Narration by Brian Cliffe
Assistant to Mr Concorde - Frances Brindle

Castle Guards
Rob Rusling & Neil Warne

Beatrice’s Gang
Courtney Brumpton, Daisy Jones, Anna Lovett, Erin Ramsay, Molly Sharp & Courtney Smith

Chorus of Townsfolk and Royal Ball guests
Gail Brocklebank, Babs Graham, Joel Howard
Team Beauty: Mia Lyall, Alana Marper, Toby Smith, Rita Tallentire, Tom Tallentire, James Read & Sunny Williamson
Team Beast: Lucas George-James, Amelia Houlden, Alyssa Oakes, Caitlin Oakes, Ella Oakes, Daniel Warne & Oliver Warne

Studio 2000
Seniors: Chloe Goldby, Ellie Hales, Evie Hales, Lily-Mae Hales, Tia Kulozich, Marnie Storey, Grace Storey, Ella Kidd-Smalley, Charlotte Bushell, Ellie Fox & Jess Skill
Woodland Babes: Iris Hunt, Eva Grainger, Edward Sellars, Kiera Guise, Isabella Cobley, Molly Scott, Jasmine Ross, Daisy Aron, Jessica Greenfield, Mya Hudson,Violet Blair, Gracie Smith, Libby Goddard, Liberty Wright & Leila Archer
Cutie Animals: Aimee Hewson, Tia Maddison, Isabelle Molina, Sophie Handley, Chloe Peall, Maisy Learmonth, Edward King, Helena Field, Ffion Green, Amy-Rose Thomas, Gracie-Ella Bond, Daisy Horner, Delilah Horry, Holly Wilson & Amelua Maher