★★★★

It’s panto season! Oh no it isn’t… Oh yes it is… Oh no, well you get the idea!

This week I took my daughter to the wonderful Queens theatre Hornchurch for a sell out (the theatre was PACKED) night for this years pantomime, Beauty & The Beast. This will be the third year running that I have had the pleasure of reviewing their annual pantomime and I think Beauty & The Beast may just be the best yet.

The set design was very clever and even before the performance started the scene was set. A forest is made out of the pages from a book and a spotlit rose bush takes centre stage as we wait for it to begin.

There are no surprises here, evil witch, beauty falls in love with the beast but must leave him and return home to her sick father, before all reunite at the end for a happily ever after. But it doesn’t need surprises. What it needs is slick production, brilliant vocals and hilarious comedy – and this production of Beauty & The Beast has all 3!

The support comedy cast of Souffle, Nanny Bon Bon, Cupid (and Super goat) were very good… and there were plenty of more adult jokes to keep the parents entertained the the children would definitive not understand.

The musicians and all the vocalists were brilliant, but the stand out star for me though was Daniella Piper who plays ‘Beauty’ Amorette. Her vocals were stunning, and if I had one criticism, it would be that I could have listened to much more of her solo work. But that is minor gripe in a  very good production.

Go and have a lovely festive evening out at the Queen’s Theatre. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of my 6 year old:

“My favourite bit was ‘don’t dip your fingers in the cream.’ I also loved Super Goat!”

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