Beauty & the Beast best yet at the Severn!

This year I’ve seen the spectacular at Milton Keynes, the lower budget but just as much fun at Wellingborough, the villain steal the show at Northampton and now the perfect pantomime in Shrewsbury! Beauty and the Beast has everything, great “proper” sets (not digital), fabulous costumes and the six main characters, each with their own skills brilliantly cast.

Brad Fitt as Madame Belle Philoppe

Brad Fitt as Madame Bellie Philoppe (Belly Flop, get it?) maybe laid back and relaxed in his approach, but it works and he has the packed audience hanging on his every word – and woe betide any hecklers who take on his razor sharp wit! Nurse Nelly’s costumes are utterly brilliant, completely original but outrageously funny!

Tommy J Rollason as Philippe Philoppe

Without doubt comedy juggler Tommy J Rollason (this year’s BGT) is completely at home in Panto. He plays Philippe Philoppe (flip flop – there’s another one!) with such energy and the most engaging style you’ll see on stage this year! Tommy J is an absolute natural and highly talented, keep your eye out for this name to get really big! Both he and Brad make the most of Paul Hendy’s pun-packed script! 

Disney Channel’s Samantha Dorrance is a beautiful Beauty who makes falling in love with this hideous beast (played with great charm and some strong singing by Tom Carter-Miles) seem the most natural thing in the world! 

Kane Oliver Parry plays Danton who firmly believes he’s the answer to every woman’s prayer! Kane gets the joke and plays it for all it’s worth!

I must mention the most engaging fairy you ever saw! Jo Osmond plays Fairy Nuff (there’s another) with lots of bossy-boots and humour! She put me in mind of Gladys Pugh in Hi Di Hi. In fact, if anyone is thinking of a remake…….

You’ve only got until the 8th January to see this great show and it’s almost sold out – so make a move today!

Verdict: if you have to, kill for a ticket!

Beauty and the Beast is at Theatre Severn until 8th January

Box office: 01743 281281 or online 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at MK Theatre

This years panto in MK is a smash hit!

Lesley Joseph is just a sheer joy! I’ve seen her in all kinds of theatrical guises and I’ve never once seen her turn in a bad or even lack lustre performance. So to have her back in Milton Keynes again is the perfect Christmas present!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is quite possibly the most lavish pantomime we’ve had at MK, the sets and costumes were quite as spectacular and eye catching as anything 8 Argyll Street, W1 has ever offered. 

Leslie Joseph as the wicked Queen Dragonella proving that she’s definitely mastered the art of being evil whilst at the same time getting every laugh! If I say any more about her, you’ll think I’m besotted – and you wouldn’t be far from the truth.

Rob Rinder as The man in the Mirror was very nearly as spectacular. I take back every misgiving I might have had about Judge Rinder appearing in pantomime. He joined in everything wearing more and more outrageous costumes and he danced along with the company’s fine professionals with gay abandon! 

It is always wonderful to see one of the country’s top comedy icons  doing their stuff live onstage and Paul Chuckle didn’t disappoint. One or two routines with the very capable Aaron James (playing Muddles) harked back – I think – to the days onstage with Barry as the Chuckle Brothers

Busy actress and singer Charlotte Haines makes a beautiful Snow White opposite her fine Prince Harry of Haversham. Dale Mathurin plays the prince and proves that some Shakespearean actors have  splendid singing voices too!

I must mention the chorus of dancers and the Dwarfs who all did a truly fabulous job, there’s one big special effect that will amaze you , especially if the lighting man is on his metal! 

There are several wonderful surprises this year waiting for you which I won’t spoil, but I just know you’ll be talking about them for days afterwards.

If there is a weak link this year it might be a couple of the front cloth routines but certainly not the carefully rehearsed, very slick and extremely funny Panto standard “12 Days of Christmas” 

You and all the family will be assured of a brilliant time – if you can get tickets! If you’re quick you can still get some for some performances and I know you won’t regret it! 

Verdict: Spectacular, brilliantly staged and dressed, very funny with some great dancing and singing – what’s not to like?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday 8th January 2023.

Box Office: 0844 871 7615 

or online ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes