Beauty and the Beast
Paul Johnson | 01 Feb 2013 04:47am
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Cheshunt Dramatic Society’s recent pantomime “Beauty and The Beast” by Alan P Frayn is a tale as old as time and firmly based on the traditional tale. Some of the characters are familiar and others created for the pantomime. Director, Alison Rapley, certainly utilised the many talents of her cast. Molly Tello, was delightful as Belle and gave a wonderful performance, moving effortlessly from joy to anger in her scenes with the Beast. She has good stage presence and a great clarity in both her speaking and singing voice. Her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream was very moving – a lovely musical arrangement with the Prince, Danny Hurley, harmonising from behind the mirror. The Beast was played by Molly’s father, Joe Tello with just the correct amount of menace and tenderness.
There were plenty of comedy parts in this pantomime. Grant Murphy hammed it up delightfully as the dame, Madame Fifi whilst Zak Phipps added comedy as her son, Jacques. I particularly enjoyed Murphy’s rendition of the song Beauty and the Beast as Belle and the Beast danced in the ballroom scene. Belle’s two sisters’ Lyn Hudson and Jacqueline Lodge worked well together and gave noticeable performances as Ermengarde and Esmerelda. Neil Jones and Michelle Middleton as beauty salon owners Marcel and Monique added to the fun and I enjoyed their scenes. Brad Boxall in his first pantomime did a marvellous job as muscle flexing Gustave. His put downs of Ermengarde and Esmerelda were well delivered and with the right amount of disdain. I wondered how CDS were going to cast Gustave’s ‘gang’ as the younger male members were in lead roles, but they did – and how! Some of the society’s more senior actors, ‘far too sexy’ for their lime green shirts, black leather jackets, black hats and black sunglasses gave it their all in a Gangnam style dance that had the audience (and themselves) in stitches on more than one occasion as they did their little turns on the catwalk…
And so to the immortals. Katie Rooke looked and sounded every inch the part as evil sorceress Belladonna. She gave an assured performance especially in her scenes with Flora the good fairy, played well by Pam Oswald. Other performances of note were Clive Crane, wonderful as Belle’s father Alphonse and Paul Matthews as Monsieur le Fou. The chorus singing and dancing was enjoyable and cleverly choreographed by Vicky Jones. Make-up was very good, as were the costumes which were bright and colourful. The lighting and sound worked well and were effective. The Eye of The Tiger fight scene worked well and I loved Bump In The Night, the opening number to act Two as Belladonna commanded the stage as she sang and her evil followers zombie danced their way to the front of the hall to join her.
- : user
- : 24/01/2013