Last night it was nice to have some sort of normality in the theatre world. I got to review my first show in 2020 inside an actual theatre. It was nice to be back. The things that would normally annoy you in the theatre, such as people getting past you in the aisle or the rustling of crisp packets was strangely welcomed as it was just nice to have that experience again. However, I digress the reason why I was there was to review 2020 pantomime Beauty and the Beast at the St Helens Theatre Royal.
The show start time was at 6pm which I was surprised at because you’d think that was to early due to audiences working even if it started at 7:30pm it would have finished before 10pm. the show itself was as flamboyant and as funny as you expect a panto to be with little hidden gems of the cast corpsing as they miss told a line or a tongue twister. Potty Polly and French Frank with their beautiful comic timing incorporated the audience into the show all the way through. Including getting the audience to sing. Gaston with his mother was trying to persuade Belle to be his wife but Belle was having none of it, she wanted to see the prince who was making a visit into the town of petit poi’s to find a bride. The visuals and effects in the show will mesmerise you.
Now before anyone says how did they distance on the performance. Rest assured it was very safe for both actors and audience members. I myself was a little nervous but I had nothing to worry about. You wear your masks all the way through and you are sanitised upon entry and sit nowhere near other audience members. The Dancers had visors on, and the cast incorporated sanitising their hands in to the performance with 2 stations either side of the stage. It was weird at first, but you forgot about it being there very quickly
I would just like to say though that after the show my ears were ringing as there was a lot of shouting and screaming from some cast members and the microphones may need to have been turned down a touch. I felt the start of the show some cast members spoke rather fast, so it was hard to keep up. That said the songs and writing was very funny and current it’s a great way to forget about the real world for two hours.
The show runs until January 3rd so don’t miss it as you never know when the next chance to see a show in a theatre will be. http://www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com/
Jamie Greer as Potty Polly;
Abigail Middleton as Madame Botox;
Scott Gallagher as French Frank;
Olivia Sloyan as Belle;
Andrew Geater as The Beast;
Tim Lucas as Gaston;
Jenna Sian O’Hara as Fairy Rose
Directed by Chantelle Nolan
Written by Liam Mellor
Choreography by Nazene Langfield
Musical Supervision by Callum Clarke
Reviewer: Luke Montague
Reviewed: 14th December 2020
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★