Ever wondered what would happen if the characters of Beauty and the Beast swapped gender? Well wonder no more with Fat Rascal Theatre’s gently entertaining musical parody.
Fat Rascal Theatre have left no detail to chance in this refreshing adaptation of the classic fairytale which is jam packed with innuendos and the over the top characterisations.
For this production Belle becomes Beau and while the Beast is formidable as ever it is a Princess who has been transformed due to her selfishness, adding a completely different perspective on the story itself as well as plenty of laughs that keep the audience amused from beginning to end.
From the hilarious spoofs of the Pixar lamp and the steamboat willie (Disney) elements to the interesting variations of the classic Disney songs from the original film (just sounding different enough to ensure no one gets into trouble) there is plenty to admire in this very flamboyant parody – even if at times it feels it gets a little bit too excitable and over the top.
But it has to be said that at times some of the humour felt a bit flat – particularly in the scenes involving La Fou Fou and Chevonne – these could have been developed slightly more effectively rather than relying so much on sexual references, while amusing do become slightly tiresome after a while.
However, the show is wonderfully creative that shows that anything can be adapted for the stage and in a small space with great thought. For example, a horse real or otherwise is not required in showing Maureen’s journey to the art fair and why not use lynxes rather than wolves in the terrifying scene in which Beau runs away from the castle.
Another strength of the show is the way in which the cast have brought the fairytale characters to life. Jamie Mawson as Beau is suitably charismatic with a hint of pretension and decent comic timing – his facial expressions at times brilliantly exaggerate his character’s emotions. Meanwhile, Robyn Grant as the Beast offers up some wonderful vocals as heard during ‘In the Dark’ – offering a nice sense of vulnerability to her character and Allie Munro is wonderfully pompous as Chevonne.
Musically, there are some nice takes on songs such as ‘Be Our Guest’ or in this case ‘Have a Brunch’ and ‘Something There’ transforms nicely to ‘Something Else’ that you can’t help but wonder what Alan Menken or Disney would make of this parody.
But while this is an entertaining parody on the beloved fairytale, it feels at times it loses its way a bit (still trying to understand the ‘Eggs’ song at the beginning of the second act) by getting too carried away that can distract from the story. However, it is worth going to see for the songs alone.
Beauty and the Beast continues to play at the King’s Head Theatre until the 6th January. For more information visit: https://kingsheadtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873581486/events/128329693