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  • Writer's pictureKelly

The Magic of Beauty and the Beast Comes to life at Sunderland Empire


Ad- Our fabulous writer Olly headed to Sunderland Empire last night for the press showing Of Beauty and The Beast. Here is his review.

"Panto is back at the Empire Theatre, Sunderland! Last night we were kindly invited down to the press night at the Empire Theatre for this year’s panto offering, Beauty and the Beast.

The panto is created by UK Productions, one of the country’s leading pantomime producers with the award winning script written by Jon Monie. Bringing the production to life was the amazing cast; the hugely popular North East duo of Miss Rory and Tom Whalley bring the laugh out loud comedy as Rorina and Louis La Plonk, TV’s Charlie Hardwick sprinkles festive cheer as Fairy Bon Bon, children’s TV presenter Olivia Birchenough plays the lovable Belle while West End star Samuel Wyn-Morris gives an amazing vocal performance as Beast.

The show was absolutely fantastic and we had a brilliant evening from start to end, it had everything you could want and more from a festive evening at the panto. The set looked great, the storyline kept you engaged, while being easy to follow and the quality of the singing, dancing and all round performances from the entire cast amazing. Of course, there was plenty of comedy throughout which had the whole audience laughing out loud, family friendly but with plenty of adult humour (going straight over the kids' heads) sprinkled in.

Some highlights in the performance for us were:

Cheeky Louis la plonk was a firm favourite with our two boys and kept them laughing out loud through. “Oui, Oui, Louis” was the audience response everytime he entered…no need for me to say anymore

Rorina La Plonk was definitely the adults favourite and kept us both entertained with hilarious adult gags throughout.

Stand out vocals from the Beast, some really great West End standard, individual songs.

A number of classic panto sketches such as the ghost scene “he’s behind you”, Louis’ “Cheese Song” and a very funny cooking scene again had our boys laughing out loud.

We loved our evening at the panto and would definitely recommend it to everyone this festive season. This is a big, high-end production and definitely not a cheap family day out, but we think it’s a great treat for the whole family. There are quite a few different category tickets, so make sure to have a good look through the website before booking.

One thing to note is that the beast could be a little scary for younger children, we had our 3 year old son with us and he needed a bit of reassurance for the first couple of scenes the beast appeared in. He was absolutely fine after this, just something to bear in mind.

Good to know

🌹Did you know? You can travel on the metro for free for up to 2 hours before and after the performance, just show your valid theatre tickets!

🌹Loads of parking is available throughout Sunderland City Centre, with all council car parks being free after 15.00 Monday - Friday. We parked in St Marys car park (SR1 3AH), which is super convenient and only a few minutes walk away.

🌹There are plenty of booster seats are available at each entrance to the theatre, both our boys (3 and 5 years old) used these and where both very happy they did.

🌹Don’t fancy the interval rush for food and drink? Delivered at Seat means you can simply scan one of the QR codes dotted around the theatre or in your program, then simply order your pre or interval snacks and drinks to be delivered directly to your seat. We used this for the all-important pot of popcorn!

🌹The show is running up to the 31st December, plenty of tickets are still available, but certain showings are now limited.

🌹Tickets start from £13, lots of different seating options are available with prices reaching £44 for top tier seats.

🌹The show running time is around 2hr 30 mins including the interval.

Cast includes

🌹Principal Cast Members:

🌹Fairy Bon Bon – Charlie Hardwick

🌹Rorina La Plonk – Miss Rory

🌹Belle - Olivia Birchenough

🌹Louis La Plonk – Tom Whalley

🌹Beast – Sam Wyn-Morris"

We are thrilled to hear that everyone had a great time.and super jealous that we couldn't make it. I think we will have to head along to check out these vocals on the Beast I have heard so many fantastic reviews about.

 Bookings and more info here...

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