✭✭ | Beauty on the Piste
It’s Panto season in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, and with that comes shows that are silly and campy, some good and more than a few not so good. But does it really matter?
This year’s panto at Above the Stag is Beauty on the Piste, a reimagining of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and it’s exactly what you would expect, but perhaps a bit less.
This is the plot, in a nutshell: Morag (David Moss) and her son Mac (an adorable Ross Tucker) own a tea house high up in the mountains in a town called Les De Nice (Les Dennis – cue laugh here).
Passing by the tea house is the young lithe and blond boy Beau (Joshua Oakes-Rogers) and his father Gustav (Andrew Truluck). Beau is eternally horny and always on Grindr (we’re getting tired of Grindr being in almost every gay play nowadays). But nearby is where The Beast (Jamie Coles) lives, behind huge gates in an old mansion, and he’s hardly ever seen.
One night Morag and Gustav decide to take a walk to get to know each other better, but they are kidnapped by The Beast, and it’s up to Morag and Beau to go looking for them. They find them in The Beast’s home, and Beau trades places with his father to let him free, and it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly between Beau and The Beast. But trouble lies on the horizon; the gay Sebastian St. Moritz (Simon Burr), who owns lots of the property in Les De Nice, wants to raise the rent of the tea house, so what’s the newly rescued Morag and her son going to do? Throw in Mabel the Fairy (a cute Briony Rawie), and The Beasts housekeeper – Heidi (Ellen Butler) – who keeps morphing into various items one finds in the house- and what you’ve got is a show, with a sing-a-long, that’s full of glitter and glee.
Does it matter that the songs are awful? No!
Does it matter that this production is not one of the Stag’s better shows? No!
And does it matter that most (if not all) of the cast can’t sing? Of course not!
Because you’re not going to see Beauty on the Piste because it is sold out for the rest of it’s run! So perhaps console (or congratulate) yourself and buy a ticket to their next production – Bitches Ahoy – a show that bills itself as a “gay holiday hilarity” – hopefully it’s a return to the Stag’s better quality shows. Just one month to go until Panto season ends, whew!
Just one month to go until Panto season ends, whew!
Beauty On the Piste plays at Above The Stag until 14th January 2017
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.