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Beauty and the Beast, Swanmore Amateur Dramatics Society, Swanmore Village Hall
THIS pantomime version of the classic story combines zany humour with some genuinely hilarious moments amongst the corny jokes and yet the scenes between Beauty and her Beast are full of genuine dramatic tension and pathos.
Pat Howe’s Beast was truly menacing, yet with an underlying vulnerability that made it inevitable that Beauty (Anna Johnston) would fall for him; their burgeoning relationship was really moving and both captured the essence of their characters.
Caroline Powell was deliciously wicked as the spurned witch, with great poise and characterisation throughout.
Emilee Varcoe’s feisty blacksmith was performed with engaging panache, Annabelle Dillon sang strongly as Beauty’s annoying little sister and Roger Minors had great rapport with the audience, enthusiastically entertaining as the “overacting French Poodle”.
With a good choice of songs (although not all were strong singers, they sang in character), a beautifully painted storybook scenery and effective iconic enchanted costumes, this was an intriguing pantomime.