We left the panto a divided family. Just which character was the best? “Beast,” shouted the youngest one. “The Dame,” the eldest insisted. “Gasbag and Oui Oui,” the middle-child interjected.
Whatever about the divisions, we were all united in giving the Everyman Theatre’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ a massive cheer. Oh, yes we did.
It might be a tale as old as time, but this production has injected life into this classic, with songs that bring it right up to date.
Two musical highlights are sung by the Beast, played by Keith Hanley, who was the winner of The Voice of Ireland in 2013.
His Rag’N’Bone man’s ‘Human’ and Sam Smyth’s ‘I’m Way Too Good at Goodbye’ are perfect for the show.
One of the elements of the panto that the Everyman gets right is the level of audience participation.
There were lots of shouts of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh, yes it is’, as well as in boos for Gasbag La Bouef.
One of the stars of the show is the Dame, Derry Beret, played with aplomb by Ciaran Bermingham.
His catchphrase is still ringing through our house. His pairing with Baby Beret (Kelly-Ann Murphy) provides much of the laughs, as does Gasbag (Michael Sands) and his sidekick, Oui Oui (Fionula Linehan).
Candlestick Bougie (played by Graham McDermott) and feather duster, La Fluff, also deserve special mention.
The Everyman panto is more intimate than other settings, has plenty of laughs, strong musical numbers, plenty of audience participation, and a live band.
What’s not to love?
Star Rating: 4/5
Run dates: Until January 14.
Start times: Matinees at 2pm (daily from Saturday, December 23 until January 7) and 7.30pm.
Finish time: Our show was at 7.30pm and ended at 10pm (interval included).
Prices: Tickets cost €26-€28 and a family pass of four tickets was €95 - €100. Tickets on Wonderful Wednesday, January 10, are €19 Availability: Some dates still available for December, but selling fast. January may be your best option.
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