Hi Everyone, and welcome to what probably will be my last review of the year! It’s almost Christmas so that can only mean one thing… it’s Panto Season! My favourite time of the year!
This year I went and got the chance to see ‘Beauty And The Beast at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester! As I have said in all years previous this show once again didn’t disappoint in the slightest, and like always when watching the Mercury Pantomime I had a wonderful time. But there are some key moments that I thought I might mention.
Firstly, Beauty and The Beast isn’t something I would normally think of when I think of pantomime, so I was interested in what direction they would take the story and what changes they would make to the story. One of the first things I noticed, was that there was not a beast straight away, but a nice-looking prince that Bell had already met earlier on in the show, but if it wasn’t for the evil witch, just trying to cause trouble he was turned into the beast.
I must say a huge well done to Daniel Jagusz-Holley who played the beast because the skill he showed in walking on stilts for eighty per cent of the show not to mention dance in some parts is some art and looked like a lot of hard work to pull off must be congratulated!
It isn’t a Mercury Theatre Pantomime review without mentioning to comedy duo that is Anthony-Stuart-Hicks and Dale Suerpville, because quite frankly it would be the same without them! Both Anthony and Dale had the audience howling with laughter from the moment they step on stage and through the show! I strongly believe that Mercury’s Panto would be not as successful and popular if they both were no longer in it! I always look with bated breath looking at the vast list every year and worried that the year before will be their last, but they keep coming back making the audiences’ night and for some their whole month. After the year we have had this year, we need you both more than ever to make us all laugh, I hope you will continue and keep coming back for years to come!
I love that, the whole show had a lovely underlining message of it should matter whether someone is different or not, it should matter, it only matters what person they are and as someone who is visually impaired, it is so important that more and more shows have this underling message to children and young people. So hopefully in the future thing will be different for all people!
Onto the accessibility then: There is an Audio Described performance and Touch tour available on 7th January 2023 at 2.30 pm! But if someone reason you can’t get tickets, then I believe that most people should be okay. If you have some useful vision, then sitting in row A-D you will have a very good view of all things going on. There are some scenes that are further back on the stage which some people may struggle with but for ninety per cent of the show, you should be okay. If you are light-sensitive some scenes have strobe and flashing lights, so that is something to bare in mind, but it isn’t on for very long!
If you have limited to no vision, then even without Audio Description I think you should be fine! Most of the jokes and jags are verbal and there are very few physical jags, with one exception of a small yellow worm-like creature flying abound the stage for one scene, but if you decided to take a sighted person with you, then you will have no problems at all. You will still have just as much fun as everyone else!
Beauty And The Beast is running at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester from 24th November 2022 until 15th January 2023! I was told last night that they have already sold ninety per cent fo ALL tickets for the whole run! So get in there quick if you haven’t got yours already!
All that is left is for me to say, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!
Until Next Year!
The VI Critic!