The following review of Beauty and the Beast at St Helens Theatre Royal was written by Neil Murphy.
Upon arrival at St Helens Theatre Royal the first thing you notice is the clear signs and ushers guiding you in the right direction for Covid safety. This brought a sense of ease knowing that all precautions had been taken for the safety of everyone involved. Plenty of hand sanitiser stations were available, and there was an app available for you to order your refreshments and there were plenty of ushers at hand to attend to your requirements. Minds were set a little more at ease thanks to these precautions before even sitting down to enjoy the panto.
The pantomime got under-way with a sense of not knowing what to expect in comparison to previous panto performances. Previously you may have a mix of audience members who want to either be involved and have the opportunity to be ‘dragged on stage’ and alternatively people who are hoping that they can avoid being ‘dragged on stage’, and this creates an atmosphere of enjoyment in the theatre. With the current restrictions and social distancing in place the likelihood of being ‘dragged on stage’ was not present, although the excitement of a panto was still tangible in the air.
The performance of the panto was fantastic, with all cast members excelling themselves in their performances. While this performance may have been early in their run, it was still evident of the inter-actions between the cast members that there was something that had just clicked, which bodes well for the rest of the run of performances.
Without wanting to spoil any of the panto for anyone who is planning on watching the upcoming performances, I will just say that the pantomime was fantastic with plenty of humour and lots of laughter for both adults and children to enjoy. As with other pantomimes this performance of Beauty and the Beast had the run of normal panto humour, sprinkled with a range of current topical jokes and even a couple of quick things that may go past a little too quickly for everyone to pick-up on, so keep watching and try and pick up on everything!
Taking the panto from a child’s point of view, Beauty and the Beast was a really funny performance, and the cast involved the audience as best as they possibly could considering the circumstances. The performance of the panto was very exciting and amazing, and it was the best pantomime I have ever been to.
We would highly recommend this pantomime with every cast member and theatre staff being exceptional.
Well done St Helens Theatre Royal.