15 December 2011

Beauty and the beast at Artix – A Beauty-ful Production

THE CLASSIC tale of Beauty and the Beast was brought to life at Bromsgrove's Artrix in another superb pantomime put on by All and Sundry and directed by Alison Berrisford.

In truth, there were too many highlights in this show to mention them all – from the charismatic cast and colourful costumes to the magnificent music and delightful dance routines.

No panto would be complete without good old-fashioned audience participation and plenty of double entendres and this production also had those elements in abundance.

The pick of the comedic performances came from Kat Cashmore as Polly Potts and the two panto dames, Nigel Buckley and Mick Randle, aka Lambrini and Chardonnay – the rapport and on-stage chemistry between those two was wonderful to watch.

The best bits of audience interaction were provided by the performances of Andrew Hill as Crouton and Emma Hobday, who rightfully earned plenty of boos and hisses with her portrayal of the evil Victor Vandare and his ever increasing sword.

But, although this show had the audience in hysterics throughout, it wasn't just about the humour – there were some very touching moments too. The most notable of these were the scenes in the grand ballroom where the prince / beast (Jamie Grant) and Belle (Arali McGrath) performed their slow dances. Another highlight from Arali was her amazing voice which never failed to reach a note.

The reputation of All and Sundry, since its formation in 2003, has grown and grown in Bromsgrove, Redditch, Birmingham and beyond and this year's panto is yet another peak for the group's performers.

Beauty and the Beast is on at Artrix at 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), tonight (Friday) and at 2pm and 7pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (December 18). Tickets are £13.50 (£12 concessions) or £41 for a family ticket. They are available by calling 01527 577330 or visiting: www.artrix.co.uk

Reprinted courtesy of The Bromsgrove Standard