Story added: 5:00pm Thu Dec 20, 2012
Tale as old as time a real delight
Wednesday 12th December, 2012 - Palace Theatre, Newark
By Dawn Bond
Beauty And The BeastBEAUTY tells the Beast off for his poor table manners during a meal served by manservant Louis (Oliver Fabian). As time goes by she begins to fall in love with him and teaches him how to behave like a human.
Beauty And The Beast, this year’s pantomime at the Palace Theatre, Newark, is a charming and endearing tale of true love.
It is full of beautiful costumes, stunning sets, lively music, great dance numbers, wonderful slapstick routines and lots of audience participation — making it a fun show for all the family.
The panto is the sixth staged by Paul Holman Associates and features a talented cast.
Comedian and Crackerjack star Bernie Clifton is back as the madcap inventor, Professor Crackpot.
He makes a grand entrance on an odd-looking automobile, and quickly has the audience up dancing, Gangnam Style.
His many ad libs have both theatregoers and the cast in stitches.
One of the highlights is his walk through the haunted forest with a mystical pet cat called Bob. Another is his superb operatic rendition of The Impossible Dream.
John Pickard, from Hollyoaks and 2Point4 Children, is the comical Pierre, the village idiot, who has everyone shouting whenever he comes on.
Every time he appears he shouts: “Yo gang, what’s up?”
The reply is: “Yo Pierre, va va voom.”
Robert James is a wonderfully sexy Madame Fifi Camembert, with lots of outrageous costumes and cheesy jokes. He lets rip in his big number, Proud Mary.
All three work well together and are hilarious in The Twelve Days Of Christmas routine, and as ballet dancers complete with big balloons.
Helen Jeckells, who is the choreographer, cackles away as the evil Witch Hazel; James Cohen has the ladies in a swoon as the sexy hunter Gaston; Oliver Fabian is the manservant Louis; and the wow factor is provided by Fluffy the dog, played by Ella Dale and Emily Walker at alternative performances.
Naomi Slater is as pretty as a picture as the no-nonsense Beauty and pairs up well with the handsome Richard Hurst as the Count, who later becomes the Beast when Witch Hazel puts a curse on him.
Slick dance routines are provided by the Southwell-based Tozer Studios.
The panto, directed at a fast pace by Peter Dayson with musical direction by Matt Marks, runs until January 6 and is well worth a visit — DAB.
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