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Review: Beauty and the Beast, New Theatre, Cardiff

Wales’ biggest pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, has officially opened at Cardiff’s New Theatre.

There is something magical about going to the New Theatre at this time of year; Oh Yes It Is, Oh No It Isn’t, Oh Yes It Is… 

If you’re like me and love going to the theatre all year round, you’ll know that going to a pantomime at Christmas is extra special. Over the years it starts to become a family tradition and is enjoyed by all ages in our family. So, when we were invited to experience this year’s pantomime at the New Theatre, we jumped at the chance.

After the record-breaking success of last year’s Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, this year’s performance has all of the ingredients that Cardiff panto-goers have come to expect.

The story of Beauty and the Beast is more than 250 years old (I know this, because I read the programme), but in all serious, it’s a classic and one that I remember growing up reading and watching. This is an adaption of the story you’ve probably come to know from the 90s, but it has a modern twist and has been brought into the 21st century, It still follows the same story, there is a beast, and there is a Belle, and characters who are ‘out for themselves’ and up to no good. You won’t be disappointed.

This is what you can expect to see…

Plenty of laughter

Gareth ‘Alfie’ Thomas is in great shape and true to form. Let’s just say his background isn’t amiss in this performance, as the Bridgend-born rugby player keeps the ‘not so nice’ characters in check. 

You’ll be wanting to keep an eye on these two, Danny Bayne and Stephanie Webber (Deadly Nightshade)

Vying for Belle’s affections, local hunter Danny Bayne pursues Belle to the very end, until of course, ‘Alfie’ sorts it out. Go on Alfie!

Stunning costumes and sets

There are lots of lovely and brilliant outfits, even the ones that are… well, we’ll leave it there and you can find out for yourselves…

The performance is full of razzle dazzle and special effects, but I won’t give it all away here. Mum’s the word!

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Quality family entertainment 

Mike Doyle is as funny as ever, as Betty Blumenthal. The British Comedy Award winner, singer, comedian and cabaret star has become a popular fixture of the annual New Theatre pantomime thanks to his quick wit, outrageous costumes and audience interaction. Let’s just say adults, you won’t be bored – there is plenty of gaffes and innuendos that will leave your kids scratching their heads. On more than one occasion, the adult laugh-o-meter was off the charts.

‘The belle of the ball’

Hands down, the stars of the show are the magnificent Ben Richards (aka Beast) and the stunning Belle.

This is a romantic fairytale story, but one with a meaning that we can all relate to – ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. As an audience, you are invited to join Belle on her journey of adventure and wanting more from life, and the Beast’s desire to be loved for who he really is, not who he has become.

Credit to Brian Tarr for all of these fantastic photographs. Thank you.

Tickets and info

It isn’t too late to book! Beauty and the Beast bursts on to stage from Saturday 8 December and runs until Sunday 13 January 2019. Tickets are available from the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889 and newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.

92%
Magical

In this wonderful adaption of the Beauty and the Beast story that you've come to know, this year's pantomime at the New Theatre will leave you and your family truly entertained. Full of laughter, music and dancing, this is an enjoyable performance for all ages.

  • Overall experience
  • Stage presence of actresses and actors
  • Quality of performance
  • Venue facilities
  • Value for money
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