Last years Riverfront panto Robin Hood was always going to be a tough act to follow, but the cast and crew have struck gold yet again with Daniel O’ Brien’s adaptation of Beauty and The Beast, a show that has been away from its rightful home as a panto for too long since its adaptation by Disney. This production has the whole family laughing from start to finish.
Christmas is no longer complete without the established pairing of Lee Mengo and Richard Elis who this year plays Dame Dominique Derriere and her slapstick son Potty Pascal respectively. The pairs established 12 Days of Christmas routine also features the brilliant Michael Onslow and is a comic must-see, up there with Morecambe and Wise’ Andre Previn sketch. Onslow teams up further with Elis to recreate the classic paper-hanging sketch – a master class in comic mime with perfect timing.
Elin Llwyd returns as Beauty and lives up to her role as a panto heroine mixing elegance with feistiness and delivering memorable musical moments with the roaring Robert Vernon as The Beast.
Jay Worthy steals this year boos and hisses as Scaramouche – a Queen lyric referencing villain who you simply love to hate, while Nerine Skinner and Lizzie Franks establish a well-synced comedy act as the princes servants Baguette and Croissant.
With choreography developed by the talented Emma Goodwin and featuring many young stars from Newport, you will be hard pushed to find a better panto treat this Christmas in South Wales.
Beauty and the Beast is already exceeding sales on last year’s shows so get in quick with your bookings – it runs until January 5.