It’s pantomime season again. Oh no it isn’t! Oh, yes, it is! Easter pantomimes are becoming increasingly popular and this bank holiday weekend Beauty and the Beast is entertaining children and adults alike at Stockport Plaza.
It is the first Easter pantomime we’ve been to, and while different to Christmas versions it has the same focus on family fun and laughs. Lewis Devine is hilarious as French Frank. There is more than a touch of Norman Wisdom about his mischief and capers. He never stops running around the stage and his energy is infectious. Along with his side-kick, Si Foster as Potty Polly, the pair have the whole audience in stitches.
I took along two of my grandkids, Charlie aged 9 and Sofia, aged 4. You can see their verdicts in the videos below and it’s fair to say, they loved it. Charlie laughed all the way through. He thought it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen.
The whole cast is strong and the young ones quickly fell in love with heroine, Belle played by Kiera-Nicole Brennan, who they instantly recognised from Channel 5 Milkshake.
The pantomime follows the classic fairy-tale story of beautiful and bookish Belle who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes (James Lacey), while he is under a spell in the form of a beast. Philip McGuinness plays the brutish, Gaston who is also after Belle’s heart. And as the adventure ensues there is some mickey taking for the adults with Madam Botox (Hannah Moncrieff) while dancer, Sarah Walker adds magical pantomime sparkle as Fairy Rose.
The sets are enchantingly colourful and the scene with the dancing wolves has everyone entranced. Like all good pantomimes it comes jam-packed with popular hits to have the kids up on their feet and dancing in the aisles. It’s fantastic feel-good, family fun.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Regal Entertainments’ Beauty and the Beast is at Stockport Plaza from 18 – 22 April 2019. For details visit: www.stockportplaza.co.uk