IT’S the time of year when we flock to shows as camp and colourful as a Steps concert.
But how many of them have a member of the recently-re-formed 90s pop group among the cast?
Fareham’s Beauty and the Beast stars Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins who, along with the rest of the performers, does a cracking job of winning over and winding up audiences.
H plays Potty Pierre in the Ferneham Hall show, a friend of Beauty and servant of a dashing prince who is turned into a hideous beast but finds love with our heroine anyway.
Yes the traditional tale has a moral message, but the show also features the sort of panto staples that get the audience shouting ‘it’s behind you’, catching sweets and dancing to silly songs.
It’s packed with popular numbers including show tunes, current hits and of course that Bee Gees cover that shot Steps to the top of the charts.
There’s plenty to please the kids and enough to entertain the adults – clever rhymes and risque comments courtesy of wonderful dame Chris Casserly.
In the hands of these performers, the funny and inventive panto is a success. Villainess Malevolent (Samantha Hughes) lives up to her name (not Samantha) and the rest of the cast do a great job.
But a special mention should go to Adam McNab who plays Prince Gallant and the Beast.
This powdered and bewigged prince isn’t the traditional straightman of panto, but comes on with a comedy swagger – a sort of Regency Austin Powers.
Tuesday’s show wasn’t without the odd little hitch but in panto that’s part of the fun.
And, wait for it, you knew this was coming didn’t you? Missing this show would be a Tragedy.