Pantomimes are a tricky thing – a fine balance between joy and wonderment for the little ones, and entertainment for the adults. Harrogate Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast creates this balance perfectly.
The small but lovely cast carry the show well. Tim Stedman as Muddles carries the majority of the comedy with his likable charm, though Philip Stewart as Pam au Chocolat is the perfect pantomime dame. The one liners, written by David Bown and Phil Lowe, are fantastic and the plot is true to the story but incorporates plenty of funny sketches and comedy scenes.
Tom Bainbridge is a lovely Beast, though I’m less certain of Maisey Bawdon’s casting as Belle. She’s not overly likable and charming and, as the main character we’re meant to fall in love with, she just doesn’t have the charisma to pull it off perfectly.
It’s a really clever, joyful pantomime and avoids being irritating. It’s a great show to go along to, with or without kids tagging along.
Catch the show at Harrogate Theatre until 21st January.