Created in 2014, Carpe Diem Emmie is a Midlands based Lifestyle, Theatre and Travel blog. Ran by Emmie, a 28 year old woman based in rural Leicestershire.

In the day Emmie works in a primary school where she is passionate about inclusion and mental health. In the evening she escapes to the cultural world.

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REVIEW | Beauty and the Beast, Loughborough Town Hall.

Market Pl, Loughborough LE11 3EB, UK
Photo Credit: Robert Day.

Beauty and the Beast 
Loughborough Town Hall 
★★★ 1/2

Last year's pantomime Robin Hood was an exceptional hit that received an array of five stars, so I had high hopes for their production of Beauty and the Beast this festive season. Loughborough Town Hall's pantomime is one of the most popular Christmas productions in Leicestershire and each year there are plenty of bums on seats for it.

Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time that works so well within pantomime context, probably more so than you would expect. The staging for this year's pantomime really does set the bar in terms of magical atmosphere and this year it's better than ever with the added addition of Aerial work too! The transformation of the stage at Loughborough Town Hall this Christmas is gorgeous!

We travel to the little French town of Mount Sorell where a story of bravery, love and redemption is about to unfold. Belle (Rebecca Gilliland) is ready to begin a new chapter and find some adventure. However, Belle, her friend Idle Jacques and his mum, Betty the local bell ringer get more than they bargained for when they find themselves trapped inside the enchanted castle of a mysterious beast.

Gilliland is outstanding as Belle with her gorgeous vocal tones, she really knew how to take the house down in her vocal numbers. 

The pantomime is well constructed by Little Wolf Entertainment and there's enough modern and local reference integrated within the script that appealed to the entire audience. The show is jam-packed with jokes, outrageously gorgeous costumes and something that even the youngest of audience members will enjoy. I quite fancied wearing some of the Dame's costumes myself! The production is something truly magical and every little detail has been constructed to create the perfect family pantomime. 

Photo Credit: Robert Day
Photo Credit: Robert Day

Due to a great response in last years' panto, James Peake and Kristian Cunningham have returned as Betty the local bell ringer and Idle Jacques. There is very much a natural comedy-duo relationship between the pair who continue to bounce off one another with complete ease, especially in the more messier scenes. Peake and Cunningham know how to have the audience in the palm of their hands with their slapstick jokes, however, some of them definitely weren't received as they would have hoped, meaning there were some moments of silence. This year the duo are joined by a lot of new faces as well as a fantastic company of talented young performers who are from the local area. 

Danielle Stanley, a local choreographer takes on the challenge of creating choreography to accompany the story this year. The choreography is enough to challenge the young chorus to be executed well, particularly loved the Wolves number.

There is a definite high quality in the standard of performance at Loughborough Town Hall and it's definitely getting better year on year. The only downside for me was that I felt there was a lot of ethos around their new aerial gadget that was distracting in some instances. I found those areas meant the pantomime didn't follow as naturally for me as I would have hoped as I was drawn to watching the actors attaching harnesses. I would have wanted something more traditional for those scenes, to be honest. 

The finale, however, is truly spectacular and collectively the pantomime at Loughborough Town Hall has something for everyone to enjoy this Christmas. It's as much for the big kids as it is the little kids!

Beauty and the Beast is playing this Christmas at Loughborough Town Hall until 06 January 2019. You can book your tickets here.

*Complimentary ticket in return for an honest review. All views and photos are my own. 


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