We are regular visitors to the Grand Opera House in Belfast throughout the year being massive fans of most things to tread the boards. However, and I’m sure we aren’t alone, but the stand-out show of the year, every year, for us has to be the Christmas Panto. This year true to form, it didn’t disappoint.
This year it is the story of the classic Beauty and the Beast. Our very own outstanding May McFettridge is of course back this season as our panto dame (30th year), playing the role of Mrs Potty. A role created for this production Mrs Potty held the theatre in her hands, giving us song, dance and copious amounts of laughter – with the usual helping of humour only the mums and dads would understand. Mrs Potty was there to keep a watchful eye over Belle and ‘thon dirty beast’.
Ben Richards of off the TV (Holyoaks, Footballers Wives, Holby City) played the handsome Prince Sebastian/The Beast. True to form he was cast under an evil spell and transformed into a Beast, the spell can only be broken by true love. And this is where Beauty (Belle) comes in. She finds herself transported to a cursed castle where she is held captive by The Beast. Will Belle see beyond the hideousness of the beast to fall in love, or will his selfishness cost him everything?
Throughout the story we are introduced to some amazing, funny and quirky characters – all playing their part in making this show something that both the kids and adults will love. Belly laughs abound, plenty of song and dance, this show had us all captivated. A particular favourite (and not to spoil anything) was the flying car – you need to see it to believe it.
Of course the show climaxes with a festive sing-along and literally everyone in the Grand Opera House were on their feet, clapping and singing along.
If you see one panto this year, make sure it’s this one. Check out www.goh.co.uk for tickets and availability.
EVERYBODY NEEDS AN INJECTION OF LAUGHTER LIKE THIS IN THEIR DAY.