REVIEW: KD Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast at The Maltings in Ely is ‘a magical pantomime’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:00 27 December 2017

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

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K.D.s Beauty and the Beast at Ely Maltings is a magical pantomime. Beautiful sets and gorgeous costumes give the whole production a story book quality and it is the story in Daniel William Bell’s script and under his direction that comes through most strongly.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

Children will enjoy the slapstick and the pantomime routines like the Twelve Days of Christmas, but will also be enchanted by the delightful Haunted Bedroom scene and thrilled by the romance between Beauty, a feisty and confident Lucy Bell and Cameron Hay’s Prince who is transformed in dramatic fashion by Poison Ivy into the Beast. Cameron Hay has a fine singing voice and the role gives him a chance to show his acting ability.

The essential battle between good and evil is strongly contested between Lucinda Withers’s glamorous Fairy Rose and the elegant and stylish Gregory Hazel, oozing evil as Poison Ivy. Ely’s favourite pantomime dame, Terry Gauchi, is back as Dame Mary Bakewell in ever more outrageous costumes, but the familiar nudge and wink comedy. This year he is partnered with the likeable Robin Hatcher as Willy Do It, in a partnership that promises a lot of fun, while another to return to Ely is Terry Burns, this time enjoying the comedy role of Potty Peugeot.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The four ensemble dancers: Joshua Haydn Harding, Carly Jay Doran, Charlie Watts and Annabelle Davis all give strong support in Katherine Hickmott’s dance numbers and a variety of supporting roles, including an irresistible boogying spider. There are smaller teams of the Junior Chorus this year owing to the constraints of the Maltings’ small stage with such an impressive set, but it is good to have a professional live band under Laurence Knight’s direction.

This is fast-paced fantasy and fun for all the family.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January. The cast of KD Theatre Productions' Beauty and the Beast, which is being performed at The Maltings in Ely until January.

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