Beauty and the Beast continues fine panto tradition at Talisman - The Leamington Observer

Beauty and the Beast continues fine panto tradition at Talisman

Leamington Editorial 17th Dec, 2023   0

Beauty and the Beast, Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth

 

LOVE them, hate them, or even just tolerate them, there’s no getting away from panto season and the Talisman has been serving up fine examples for decades.

 




This year’s Beauty and the Beast continues that sequence – well-produced, nicely-paced family entertainment with nothing but wholesome fun. Director Amelia Fewtrill-Webster keeps it traditional with fun characters, decent gags and a stack of musical numbers.

 


This tales, like almost all the pantomime cannon, has been done to death over the years including the polar opposites of Disney saccharine and French art weirdness. Here the tale is a timeless one of love conquering divisions and dreams coming true.

 

Paige Phelps and Ben Ionoff as the title characters both impress – not least with a couple of fine singing voices and a commendable strength in keeping the action moving along.

 

Paul Sully’s Dame has all the right elements and enough ad-libbing wit to keep the parents listening too, and there are strong performances throughout.

 

Mention must go to the dancing teams too whose energy and clever tricks meant the musical moments were always worth watching.

 

But the real stars of this wonderful traditional panto are not from the cast but from the supporting ranks backstage.

 

Wendy Morris’s set is a showstopper in itself, a fabulous collection of bright backcloths full of eye-popping colour and inspired detail. A pantomime is only ever as good as it looks and a spectacular setting like this will have transported many a young eye to a magical place.

 

Huge praise too to those providing costumes, lighting and sound – it’s a show which works on every level. Welcoming young theatregoers in for what is probably their first taste of the live stage is all about creating a magical world right before their eyes that they won’t forget, and the weeks of work invested here have done just that.

 

 

 

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