On Good Friday, we made the short trip down the M62 to the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool to watch the Easter pantomime Beauty and the Beast. The boys have never been to a pantomime, and so I didn't know how they would react to the their first experience of seeing a performance live on stage.
The production features 5ive's Ritchie Neville who takes on one of the lead roles of Anton, who is desperately trying to capture the heart of Belle. As with any panto there is the role bad guy which is the Countess De Champagne, the loveable character of Loopy Louie and the Dame Dolly Doughnut who is armed with one liners throughout the show (which had a lot of the adults chuckling along too although the references to Everton Football Club did not impress the other half who is a passionate Blue )
The staging and props were well thought out, and scene changes flowed well. The Beast was a little scary for my two and as this was one of the opening performances I think there was the odd technical hitch here and there (nothing that the kids would pick up and covered up with a bit of ad-hoc humour)
For us although the first half was packed with story and plenty of singing and dancing it did lack a little on the audience participation. The second have soon picked up and the boys loved the 'if I wasn't in a pantomime' rendition especially when the Dame went wild with the water guns.
The final scenes were great as Belle changed into her stunning golden gown, and the rest of the cast donned their finery for the wedding. At the end the boys were clapping along and recalling their favourite parts of the show.
Beauty and the Beast runs from April 2nd through to April 12th at the Epstein Theatre
Disclaimer: We were invited to the performance free of charge for the purpose of this review, all opinions are our own.