Beauty and The Beast Pantomime at Welwyn Garden City Hawthorne Theatre
We love the pantomime in this household. You can’t beat a good festive sing and dance along with a panto dame thrown in all live, in front of your eyes. We have been to the Welwyn panto for the past three years, last night we went to see the 2017 show Beauty and the Beast and was not disappointed!
Unbelievably I am not that familiar with the Beauty and the Beast story line. All I remember is from watching the original Disney film as a child, I remember a beautiful girl and a beast and that’s about it!
The Story Starts
The story starts with the fairy of course! The narrator pops up all through the panto in the most fabulous fairy outfit and sparkly pixie boots. She sets the scene of how the prince became the beast. And we switch straight into one of the many fabulous musical numbers, ‘Don’t stop me now’. The singing and dancing was brilliant. All to songs you know, some recent, some older classics.
We met Beauty, played by Laura Potter, and learnt about her independent lifestyle. She was turning 21 and was NOT interested in getting married! Plans were afoot for her 21st birthday party. We then meet Dame Dolly and Pano Chocolate, played by Michael Totten and Matthew Curnier, honestly the most hilarious double act I have seen on the stage. These two are regulars at the Hawthorn panto having appeared last years too. They were so funny together, you never knew if it was in the script or improvised laughing. They seemed like they were having the best time in the world, which makes for such entertainment.
We met the baddy of the show, Baguette, played by Will Guppy. A very camp and again funny baddy. He set the scene for us when he sang I’m too sexy, mixed in with Look what you made me do. He was after a wife, and wanted Beauty to be his bride.
A Walk in the Woods
The story progresses with a walk in the woods where Beauty and her father are attacked by a pack of wolves and Beauty’s father is captured by the beast and imprisoned in his castle. Beauty tries to rescue her dad but the only way to rescue him is to swop his place for hers. She becomes imprisoned by the beast, along with Dame Dolly who is turned into a chandelier and Pano who was turned into a clock.
The fairy story continues with life in the beast castle. With Beauty slowly falling in love with the beast. Then the happy ending as we all remember from the films, Beauty tells the beast that she loves him and his spell is lifted turning back into a prince.
Our favourite scenes
These have to involve Dame Dolly and Pano. The boys found the cake making scene hilarious. Eggs, flour and milk going everywhere. Dolly and Pano slipping and sliding. It did look like Dolly really hurt herself at one point!! They were fabulous at involving the audience and poor Chris from the audience was picked on many times, having to kiss a poorly finger and elbow and nearly a bum!
Dame Dolly’s outfits were amazing, from the garden to the fairy liquid to the chandelier, and many more. The wardrobe department must have had so much fun making those outfits.
The jokes were funny, some close to the mark, that only the parents would understand. The others the children giggled at. Pitched perfectly to families.
A perfect day out for the family
The panto at the Welwyn Garden City Hawthorne theatre is a fun day out and is open now until 31st Dec. Why not make a day of it and get some lunch or dinner in the café and bar area as well? Tickets range from £14 to £18 depending on what date and time you go for. A much better value panto compared to the Gordon Craig Stevenage pant priced at around £25 for a ticket.
Disclaimer – We were gifted two tickets to this performance and paid for another.