The good, the bad & the funny
Gordon Craig Theatre
2 December 2011 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Chris Jordan’s version of the Perrault story of Beauty and the Beast sets us down in France, in the village of Chevanne. So it’s no surprise that the good fairy has ’Allo. ‘Allo overtones and that a good many of the puns spread across the traditional rhyming couplet exchanges between the Immortals are Franglais in flavour.
Leanne Jones as the not-always completely audible Fairy Formidable is the splendid Bernie Nolan as Fairy Malevolent. This shimmering black-clad enchantress topped with a fantasy of silvered hair has the audience just where she wants them – booing as loudly as possible at her every utterance. She also sings extremely well.
Then there’s our sweet heroine, Beauty herself.
Rachel Jerram gives her dignity as well as goodness and puts over her ballads with charm as well as sincerity. The somewhat anti-hero is Prince Gallant, who Simon Pontin plays as a preening nincompoop until Malevolent takes her revenge for his rejection of her. As the Beast, he then commands a degree of pity – the transformation scenes and the flying sequence which brings the first act to a conclusion are both very well handled (cue lots of dry ice).
Graham James as Jean Jacques, Beauty’s father, really doesn’t have much to do except help the plot along. Paul Laidlaw has the audience in the palm of his/her hands as Dame Derrière, sporting an outrageous selection of tricolore satins and the most coquettish of berets. Chris Clarkson is an engaging Potty Pierre, suitably dim-witted as well as likeable, particularly in the plate-breaking scene. - by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content Back to Southeast Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...