After a fantastic night at last year's performance of Cinderella where we laughed out loud throughout, our expectations were high for this year's pantomime at the Kings and we were not left disappointed.
The King’s is one of my favourite theatres in Edinburgh, such a beautiful old building, steeped in much history with a quaint, old fashioned charm to it. As soon as we were seated my two kids aged 5 and 8 were taken in by the big carvings and painted murals in the auditorium. They didn't have long to wait before the show kicked off, the curtains were drawn and we were introduced to the spellbinding arrogant Prince who is cursed by The Enchantress to live as a terrifying beast until he finds true love.
Last staged as the Christmas panto at the King's Theatre back 1946, the story of Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time which has been brought up to date with new songs and comedy. The show stars the great dame Allan Stewart as Mrs May Potty and the blaggard Flash Boaby played by Grant Stott. Gillian Parkhouse returns to the King's panto as Belle with Chris Cowley as the Beast.
We were taken on a fun, entertaining musical journey through the village of Auchtereekie up to the castle of the Beast with its haunted bedrooms and magnificent ballroom. We were treated to hilarious comedy routines, dazzling special effects and a multitude of jokes old and new. There were well known songs from The Greatest Showman and Ghostbusters and some created for the show such as the entertaining Fife song performed by Grant.
There is a joyous relationship between Allan and Grant which comes through and you can tell the cast and crew are all one big family who are enjoying themselves as much as we are. Of course the usual trio includes Andy Gray, his absence for health reasons is unfortunate and we hope he's fit and well again to return for next year's panto at the King’s.
The performance was big, magical and filled with humour. There were many random comedy moments that work and give the show that pantomime experience whilst still providing a fantastic professional show that is spectacular, loud and hugely entertaining. Our night here has been one of the highlights of the season and I would highly recommend it as wonderful fun for all the family.
Review by Donald Campbell