Theatre Review: Beauty and The Beast

Everyone loves a pantomime!

Presented by Tea Tree Players
Reviewed 27 November 2021

Everyone loves a pantomime! It tells us that Christmas is almost here and provides a fun outing for adults and children alike. Tea Tree Players like doing traditional pantos and their audience love it. This year’s offering is an old favorite, told with lots of silly gags and enthusiasm featuring lots of fun characters.

The narrator role, played with gusto, by Zack Brittan is a giant poodle called Felix and Brittan has the audience with him all the way. He introduces the main players, Ma (the dame), portrayed by Tim Cousins with his best bloomers and a terrific sense of fun. Our heroine is Rose is sweetly played by Kristyn Barnes. Ma with the addition of Harrison Morris as Jacques, Rose’s brother, and Annika Barry as his girlfriend Capucine make up the main quartet. Once Rose has left the village, the rest is made up by the all singing, all dancing chorus of talented youngsters.

Every panto must have a prince, this one is played by Max Shapcott (yes, they stay with tradition – she is a girl) until the evil Malabelle (Rhi Shapcott) casts a spell, then Clinton Nitschke takes on the role – he is bigger and more threatening! There are some nice moments between Barnes and Nitschke.

The palace is peopled by furniture played by the same chorus that were villagers. Pieces of furniture and cutlery including a bear rug played by Magnus Phillips and a sarcastic clock played by Theresa Dolman interact when the prince is not present. Later when the rescue comes there is further hilarity and some nice singing between Barnes and Max Shapcott. Rhi Shapcott really enjoys her evil character throughout Act One, but certainly has fun as a giant poodle companion for Felix in the end.

Writer Ben Crocker has taken a well know story and adapted it to fit the panto mold. The story works, mostly, and the enjoyment is spread between the cast and the audience. If you want to experience this tradition you had better be quick, seats are selling fast.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards

Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Tea Tree Players Theatre

Season: 26 Nov-11 Dec 2021

Duration: 2hrs including interval

Tickets: $13 – $15

Bookings: https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=808923&fbclid=IwAR2e5PWzqp1lAWkK8_8ykzhmLOVoiyknBs-yDFN3za4QbFiye0QqYYSdhHY

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