Beauty And The Beast, (Son Of A Creature Man), Theatre Review. Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Cast: Danny Burns, Tom Connor, Stephanie Hockley, Adam Keast, Greg Last, Raj Paul, Lauren Silver, Emmy Stonelake, Lucy Thatcher, Francis Tucker.

Christmas only truly begins once the pantomime season starts in earnest, the faithful chime of the yearly bell in which many furry creatures, the beasts of the imagination come hurtling out of the writer’s pen and prove above anything that the media or consumerism can dole out in response, that the family and friends you spend time inside the theatre with are the best days you will have.

The Everyman Theatre’s offering this year is no exception to the rule and Beauty and The Beast, (Son of a Creature Man) is one that overflows with the smiles, the true meaning of celebration and fun, Christmas really isn’t Christmas without such tasty and monster like productions and The Everyman always put the fun into festive.

Sarah A. Nixon and Mark Chatterton have reached deep down into their collective artistic souls to once more come up with a Christmas production worthy of the Everyman Theatre, one filled with warmth, complete adoration in the way the festive madness gels together on stage and the steely grin of a play that gives out so much more than it ever asks for in return.

Tom Connor, who plays the delightful Sir Cyril of the Wirral, has progressed so much over the last few years, already a prestigious young talent as he took on the role of Paul McCartney at the Royal Court’s production of Lennon, he has now graced the Christmas box at the Everyman for a few years and this year he truly steps out into the limelight and makes the stage a place of enjoyment and impish fun. Under the stewardship of the director Mark Chatterton and the Everyman Theatre, the flourishing of such talent is always a sight to behold and his guitar playing as part of the panto is something that many over the years will remember with the knowledge they had seen a true great perform.

Also returning to the Everyman arena is the beauty of the festive period, the pairing of the Adam Keast and Francis Tucker, two men whose very presence in the city heralds the coming season with greater charm, sincerity and the bubbles of true affection than any Coca-Cola lorry hurtling its way down to Liverpool One. As the Panto dame and her always harlequin like husband, Francis Tucker and Adam Keast bring an overflowing of laughter that truly tickles the rib cage and this year is no exception as they battle through the evil comedy genius that resides in Sarah A. Nixon’s writing.

A comedy for everyone, a musical for the masses, from Brownies to the ones who only come out each year for the Panto and through to those that all manner of capers and madcap cool on the stage is an essential part of life, young or old, this is always a play to see.

Ian D. Hall