This Beauty and the Beast is a glittering example of pantomime fun with laughs from start to finish. Writer Alan McHugh, as the dame, his sidekick Jordan Young and Elaine C Smith as the beast's housekeeper Mrs Potty provide comedy gold. This is the seventh Aberdeen pantomime in which they have appeared together, and this familiarity with the audience and the actors' rapport is what makes this performance sparkle.
From her entrance in a glitterball of a golf cart, to her hilarious Miley Cyrus wrecking ball, Elaine C Smith has boundless energy and enduring appeal. Alan McHugh's trademark wordplay and tongue twisters use the local Aberdeen dialect of Doric to the pleasure of the local audience. Combine this with the traditional panto slapstick, and McHugh has a winning combination.
A strong, talented supporting cast allows this trio to work its magic. Maggie Lynne is both an enchanting and feisty Belle, Anne Smith is the perfect villain as Deadly Nightshade and Paul Luebke's performance as the hapless comic lothario Harris McTweed adds another layer of comedy to this hilarious production.
The choreography and the ensemble cast all add to the panto glitz, as do the costumes and set. This is a well-written and directed production that sees the traditional comedy of Scottish panto take centre stage.
Verdict: Great example of a traditional pantomime, with comedy taking the leading role