Beauty and The Beast: Devonshire Park Theatre 12 December – 11 January
Eastbourne Panto has a great reputation and last night I went to find out what all the fuss was about.
“… yet again, the Devonshire Park has the South East’s premier pantomime” What’s On Stage
“This is traditional pantomime at its best” Sussex Express
“A spectacular pantomime” Eastbourne Herald
I’m pleased to say that the pantomime completely lived up to its hype, and more!
Everything for the Eastbourne Panto is designed in-house by the wonderfully creative people at Eastbourne Theatres, and I was blown away by the quality and sheer number of costumes that had been produced (I’d definitely have loved to play Maleficent in that striking green and black outfit, I loved the prince’s sequinned-purple robes, and was overwhelmed by the fabulously outrageous costumes designed for Dame Derrière). In addition to the sumptuous clothes, there were quality traditional sets and magical lighting which made the entire visual experience enchanting.
The script, written and directed by Creative Director Chris Jordan, was a generous and effective blend of traditional panto, fairy tale plot and contemporary references, which meant that there was genuine entertainment for all the family. We were pleased to find that the panto itself hadn’t compromised the storyline of Beauty and the Beast, and there was the right balance between moments of anarchic hilarity, booing of the baddie, cheering for the goodie, and real tenderness when the story demanded it.
All emotions were played to and it was one of those truly cathartic theatre experiences, heightened by the opportunity for us as the audience to interact and participate, that enabled every trapped feeling to be released: it felt like genuine laughter therapy.
Everyone needs this kind of treatment at this time of year – it’s a perfect way to beat the winter blues.
The star-studded cast were superb, having great fun as they captured the audience with their performances, which included singing and dancing as well as acting – often all at once!
I highly recommend treating yourself and your loved ones to the Eastbourne pantomime experience this Christmas – it really is fun for all the family.