REVIEW: Beauty and the Beast at New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth

The cast of Beauty and the Beast, Tim Lucas, Craig Golding, Jamie Papanilolaou, Kirsty-Anne Shaw, and Liz Garland. 
Picture Ian Hargreaves
The cast of Beauty and the Beast, Tim Lucas, Craig Golding, Jamie Papanilolaou, Kirsty-Anne Shaw, and Liz Garland. Picture Ian Hargreaves
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MAGIC, marvellous and hilarious – three words that sum a great show.

And Beauty and the Beast at Portsmouth’s New Theatre Royal left the crowd cheering and laughing throughout the performance.

The cast of Beauty and the Beast, Liz Garland, Craig Golding, Kirsty-Anne Shaw, Tim Lucas, and Jamie Papanilolaou. 
Picture Ian Hargreaves

The cast of Beauty and the Beast, Liz Garland, Craig Golding, Kirsty-Anne Shaw, Tim Lucas, and Jamie Papanilolaou. Picture Ian Hargreaves

With plenty of wit throughout, the new take on the classic story made for a fantastic family outing.

The story was modified by transplanting it into the dockyard and streets of Portsmouth, and the forest of Hampshire. It included plenty of area’s history and played on its city location.

Mark Button, from Portsmouth, was there with his family.

He said: ‘It was very good entertainment, all actors were very enthusiastic and very good.’

Audience participation was the order of the day, making it a brilliant night out for all.

When Madame Crummles, played by Liz Garland, was trying to make her way to Beauty’s brother Will, played by Jamie Papanicolaou, she grabbed an audience member on stage.

She had been walking through the forest – played by the audience.

The unsuspecting audience member was on stage then pretending to be a stick, much to the audience’s amusement.

The musical pieces were fun, energetic and filled with dancing and plenty of colour. But they still allowed for Beauty, played by Kirsty-Anne Shaw, and Beast/Prince Robert, played by Craig Golding, to shine with their duets.

Frederick, played by Timothy Lucas, and who was obsessed with Beauty becoming his wife, had the audience booing, hissing and at times cheering his character on with his not so subtle hints to gain Beauty’s attention, which led to a lot of comedic moments and great dramatic scenes when he and the Beast clash.

One member of the audience who had come from Havant to watch the show, David Whitaker, said: ‘It was excellent, I really enjoyed it. I’m not really a theatre person, but I really enjoyed that.’

Theatre trustee member, Councillor Neill Young, said: ‘Really good production great to see, the talent we have here, especially the Giselle Academy of Dance. It’s really shows the kind of talent we have here in Portsmouth.’