We are big fans of the theatre and a visit to see a pantomime is always a big thing for our family at Christmas, in fact, we really missed them last year.
Thankfully, this year, they are back and we were invited to review Beauty and the Beast at Lighthouse Poole.
Written and directed by local legend and CBeebies star Chris Jarvis, who also stars as Dame Betty Bonbon, the pantomime tells the tale of Beauty and the Beast, with a cursed prince doomed to live as a beast forever unless he can find true love before the final rose petal falls.
The show roars into action almost immediately and it is not long before we are introduced to Cupid, an exuberant French speaking angel, who can become human and find love himself by making one more couple fall in love.
Cupid, played by Tom Mann, absolutely stole the show and the kids loved replying to his cry of “Magnifique” with “Fantastique”
Chris Jarvis was born to play the Dame and had the audience in the palm of his hand with clever one liners and innuendoes for the grown ups and slapstick comedy and toilet humour for the little ones.
The villain of the evening was Nightshade, played by the perfectly Wicked Michelle Collins of Eastenders fame, who encouraged the “boo’s” and “hisses” from the audience each time she came on stage.
The pantomime flowed really well and was littered with songs, old and new, that you just have to sing along with. If you have seen Chris Jarvis in panto before, you will be excited to learn that he also does his 12 days of Christmas parody song, which is a real family favourite for us.
Each half was just under an hour, with a 20 minute break in the middle, which is perfect for little ones.
Beauty and the Beast is running until 31st December, with tickets and group bookings available from www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/whats-on/2020/beauty-and-the-beast/
Disclaimer: We were invited along to the press launch of Beauty and the Beast. All thoughts and opinions are our own