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Beauty and the Beast pantomime at Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone review

What do Brexit, Donald Trump and songs from the 70s all have in common?

They all feature in this year's Christmas pantomime in Maidstone.

Jake Quickenden, star of the Beauty and the Beast panto. Picture: Andy Jones
Jake Quickenden, star of the Beauty and the Beast panto. Picture: Andy Jones

With a talented cast and great sing-a-long tracks it was a night full of family fun at the Hazlitt Theatre.

This year's show, Beauty and the Beast, tells the tale of a beautiful girl who moves to a French town called Le Maidstone with her father, a kooky inventor.

With her friends Dijon Mustard, DC and Mademoiselle Marmalade, she goes through a journey of love and fear.

The most handsome man in town, Danon, played by Jake Quickenden, hopes to marry Beauty but his nasty nature works against him.

When her father goes missing, Beauty must travel to the Black Forest Chataeu to try and save him but rumour has it a less than desirable beast lives there, or maybe it is Donald Trump?

Beauty and the Beast has proved popular with crowds so far
Beauty and the Beast has proved popular with crowds so far

After sacrificing herself to save her father, she moves in with the Beast and the two begin to fall madly in love.

With time running out, and not many petals left on the magical rose will Beauty by able to break the spell that keeps the Beast so beastly?

Throughout the show a number of popular songs are remixed and adapted including Billie Eilish's Bad Guy and Michael Jackson's Bad, performed by the X Factor star Jake Quickenden.

However, the most impressive performance was by Will Elliot (The Beast). He took the stage by storm with his rendition of I Don't Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith.

Met with cheering crowds it was by far one of the stand out moments of the performance.

Beauty and the Beast, starring Jake Quickenden, is the Hazlitt Theatre's Christmas panto this year
Beauty and the Beast, starring Jake Quickenden, is the Hazlitt Theatre's Christmas panto this year

A few jokes about living on the Isle of Sheppey and chavs from Chatham also made many guests get the giggles.

Jake was of course met with cheeky comments and whistles from some women in the audience, at one point he told one fan to meet him at the Village Hotel after the show.

A range of songs were sung and a number of 70s tracks with a slight twist proved to be popular - particularly the cake and bake version of Disco Inferno by The Trammps.

A pantomime wouldn't be complete without a fabulous Dame and Ian Good (Mademoiselle Marmalade) is an absolute panto legend. His peformance didn't just bring laughter but great energy to the audience as well.

If it was not for him, the show would not have been as good as it was - his role was memorable and integral to a great evening.

A big shout out to all of the dancers as well who were extremely talented.

Overall, it was rated a 10/10 by my 11-year-old sister and I wouldn't hesitate to rate it the same.

For more information on where to book tickets click here.

Read more: all the latest news from Maidstone


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