Beauty and the Beast
Distinctly Scottish stage adaptation eschews typical squeaky clean panto traits
Beauty and the Beast is, as they say, a tale as old as time (and therein lies the last Angela Lansbury joke. Promise.) Refreshingly, Alan McHugh and Guy Hollands’ distinctly Scottish stage adaptation of the classic story retains the most important plot points, while giving it a uniquely homegrown twist.
Gemma McElhinney has a gift for the silky high note as the honest but at times saccharine Beauty, while Josephine Warren’s witch Cora delivers the feistier numbers with conviction true to her range. Comic relief comes in the form of Beauty’s father, Gregor, as played by Mark McDonnell, resembling a ginger Elton John during his Mozart Wig era.
In general, this show eschews the typical squeaky clean, ‘look behind you’ nature of the Christmas production. The ending, twisted into a more realistic resolution, fits with designer Philip Witcomb’s gothic imagery, bringing out the light and shade of the story itself.
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until Fri 31 Dec