Beauty & The Beast
The Grand Theatre Blackpool, until 6th January 2019

The Blackpool Grand plus panto equals a double dose of glitz
and entertainment and this year’s show does not disappoint. Featuring a superb
cast of local celebrities, stage and soap stars, Beauty & The Beast is
clearly an absolute delight for all ages judging by the audience reaction.

All generations of "shark" willingly stand up to
play their part in the Baby Shark Dance at the request of Louis La Plonk, aka
radio presenter and comedian Steve Royle. Audience participation is always the
best bit and he orchestrates this brilliantly, whether it’s poking fun at the
adults with a French accent, or teasing the kids with a Chorley one.

UK Productions’ larger than life characters create an expert
blend of fun and drama. Nick Wilton is endearing as the Dame, Polly La Plonk;
radio presenter Hayley Kay shines as Fairy Bon Bon singing The Great Showman’s
This is Me; EastEnders star Danny Walters shows his sensitive side and
fantastic vocals as The Beast; and Amelia Adams-Pearce proves her musical
theatre prowess with a plucky manner and powerful voice as Belle. Taking full
advantage of the strong female role, she fobs off the foppish French Hugo
Pompidou (portrayed with ding-dong aplomb by Ben Harlow), takes care of her father
Clement (played by the highly likeable Marcus Knibbs), and swoons but keeps her
cool as The Beast woos her.

The set and costumes are just gorgeous, from the sparkling
purple drapes in the dramatic Beast scenes, to Belle’s famously exquisite
yellow ballgown. The talented dancers from the Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts
Centre do choreographer Katie Hill’s routines real justice, with ballerinas fluttering
daintily beneath towering forest backdrops.

This definitely rates as one of the best pantomimes I’ve
seen in a while. It strikes a lovely balance of hilarity that's not over the
top with tender moments that aren’t too deep. The Beast's transformation into
Belle's handsome Prince really does make you go "Ahhh" and the laughs
really do make your belly ache.

Beauty & The Beast brings five-star Christmas cheer to
Blackpool. Book your tickets here

And if you don’t know the Baby Shark dance already, make
sure you learn it before you go.