Beauty and the Beast at The Royal Lyceum Theatre

I’m not going to get all philosophical about The Lyceums Christmas Show (we don’t do panto’s you know) because it’s not meant to be anything much more than a joyous night out for all the family.

And you know what?  It’s a joyous night out for all the family.

I took my wife, sister, two friends and a four year old boy.  And we all loved it equally.

Charlie, the four year old, was suitably terrified by the barnstorming performance of Angela Clerkin as Crackjaw, the evil witch and recipient of most of the evening boo’s and sssss’s.

Ruth Milne as The Beauty puts in just the sort of performance you’d expect; adorable, soft and charming with a tiny hint of steel towards the end and Andrew Rothney as Martin and The Beast does an excellent job in the role.

I’ve written before about the excellent comic talent of Nicola Roy who was a stand out in Educating Agnes.  She goes one better here in collaboration with Karen Traynor as the two “ugly sister” type characters Hannah and Hazel the vain and nasty elder sisters of Beauty.  Nicola Roy’s use of the vernacular is truly hilarious and the theatre lights up every time they step on stage for a bit of banter.

The whole thing is bound together by excellent underscoring, a good set and lighting design with one terrfic lighting effect that I won’t let out the bag and sympathetic direction from Neil Murray.

Of course at its core is a really great, nicely contemporary, without trying too hard, script from Scottish stage stalwart; Stuart Paterson.

A great night out assured.  I can promise you that.