We were invited * to the press release of Beauty and the Beast at Cardiff’s New Theatre.

This was my first panto, I must have gone to see one when I was younger but honestly I can’t remember it.

I took along my husband just incase Z needed to leave. I was a little worried as this was the longest he would have sat for a show .

Z was so excited going in. The opening scene of the dancers and music Z was clapping and jumping away, until, there was talking. Twenty minutes later he’s handing me his coat. Out came the iPad and his headphones. It was very loud with the audience participation laughs and hisses and boos! Lucky he didn’t need to leave because I think the husband was so into it he would have to be writing the review as he wouldn’t even have noticed if we had left!

Now never been to a pantomime ( or not remembering!) I had no idea what to expect. I can honestly say it was nothing like I expected!

Beauty and the Beast, a classic Disney movie. Take the story, add in some wild characters, including ‘Pinky and Perky’ who you really need to meet for yourselves, mix up with a dose of deadly Nightshade, a kraken and lots of adorable little candlesticks dancing and you’ll not stop laughing.

The story is the tale of Beauty (Bell played by Naomi Slights) and the beast ( Ben Richards) for over 2 hours the cast made up of Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle, Danny Bayne, Stephanie Webber, Edward Rowe and The Lorri Guppy School Of Dance, told the story but not as I was expecting. There isn’t any classic songs, ( not sure if this is typical panto!) but songs that you know and can sing along to they even got baby shark into it! Yes your asking how can baby shark be in beauty and the beast! At this point we thought maybe Z was going to try and join them on the stage! It was so random it worked well! You had the main part of the story where Clarence wanted to kill the beast, and of course Belle had to fall in love before the fall of the last rose petal. Deadly Nightshade I thought played a really good part of the ‘villain’ with the audience hissing and booing, at her you’d just get the oh shut up as she’s walking away.

There was lots of moments when the humour that was aimed at adults and had one kid behind me asking why are you laughing! It really was aimed at the whole family, my husband didn’t stop laughing, and all the way home said how good it was!

Even though Z had his iPad with him, doing some sums to keep him focused, he took more notice this way of what was going on on the stage. When the children were dancing as candle sticks and other kitchen stuff, he was smiling and clapping, when the lights flashed again he would smile, for him the sensory side of it was really good! When I asked him did he like it? This was his answer, two words ‘Artistic’ and ‘beautiful’.

The costumes were fabulous, eccentric that I’d expect of a panto, ( Mike Doyle as Kylie Kipling) was your answer to that one. How the cast can keep straight faces day after day I don’t know, more so when all the audience are crying laughing!

And of course you had the famous yellow ball gown dress!

On Tuesday 8th of January 6pm there’s a relaxed performance at New Theatre where some special effects are changed and doors are left open so you can move about and sound levels are reduced. If you’ve always wanted to try your child at the theatre this really would be the best show to start with! There’s also a few accessible performances going ahead.

Beauty and the Beast is running until Sunday 13 January and you can get tickets here.

*we were gifted our tickets in exchange of a review.

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