BEAUTY & THE BEAST is the 2017 panto at the glorious Nottingham Theatre Royal through Jan 14th 2018.
Starring much-loved Nottingham legend Sherrie Hewson as Mrs Potts-Temple-Savage and leading man Ben Richards – this show certainly has celebrity punch.
B&TB is driven by comedy actor Ben Nickless. Stealing though is 5* dame Andrew Ryan who is arguably one of the best in the business.
West End stars Danny Bayne, Naomi Slights and Natalie Spriggs deliver remarkable vocals throughout. The shows effects are impressive despite a dreary set.
This is certainly the naughtiest and most scary panto in the East Midlands…
Enjoy our HD Video review via YouTube:
Sadly, despite huge applause for this well polished production – there’s a lack of overall energy which resulted in no stand ovation tonight.
Let’s say it’s a fun night out…all be it very familiar.
It is of course amazing if you’ve never seen a Theatre Royal panto before, but, it is basically a ‘best of’ from the last decade of pantomimes with no USP.
Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle (played superbly by Noami Slights) finds herself transported to a spell-bound castle held captive by a hideous beast.
The opening dance number is just lovely. Ben (the Beast/Prince) does not have the chance to shine but clearly can sing like a bird.
Sadly if the kids are hoping for Disney – you’re out of luck. There’s no ‘Be Our Guest’ let alone ‘Beauty & The Beast’.
You do get Ed Sheeran & Ariana Grande though to the delight of the punters.
This may well be the East Midland’s biggest pantomime, but, sadly the script was tortuous at times….and so familiar the audience were able to join in with the tawdry punchlines re-gifted from last Christmas and many before.
It felt at times the cast had lost faith in book and undersold the cheese. The key to panto is making us believe the silly lines are hysterical – that’s a massive skill!
Sadly, B&TB is clearly not Sherrie’s natural home. I adore her, but, this script didn’t seem to play to her strengths. She’s so warm & hysterical in real life – I didn’t get any of that over the footlights tonight.
With Qdos, who produce this and 40 other pantos in the UK, you always get class, polish and glamour but not so much in this years production @TRCH.
Maybe we’ve just been spoilt over the past few years with productions that ouzed originality, class, show stopping talent & hugely memorable moments.
The stand out star in Nottingham is Dame Andrew Ryan – he’s flawless. The ‘mirror’, ‘Pheasant Plucker’ and ‘If were not in panto’ all got big cheers. The best of vaudeville.
Danny Bayne is an impressive Trent Bridge (Gaston). A powerful voice, delicious arms for the ladies and clearly an excellent dancer.
Ben Nickless is great but it is like watching Billy Pierce & Jo Pasquale’s lovechild. I didn’t buy it tonight…especially watching him repeating their bits word for word.
I’ve never noticed so many fart/poo gags. Cheap & disappointing. Some of Nickless’ invasion of ‘personal space’ also felt a little uncomfortable and ill-timed after the events of 2017. God I sound like a writer for The Guardian.
Also, this show has what feels like endless references to death, stabbing, killing – they even sing about it (with no campery whatsoever) and the hideously terrifying 3D section was just unnecessary. I don’t get it – it’s panto not Halloween!
I really wanted to love this show but following a decade of comedy genius’ including Pasquale, Conley & The Chuckle Brothers – I guess it just feels a little limp in the sensational Theatre Royal this Christmas.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 10th December 2017.