Beauty & The Beast 2019

Bath Theatre Royal, 12th December 2019 – 12th January 2020
Photographer: Freia Turland

Dame extraordinaire Nick Wilton is back (oh, yes he is!) and the first glimpse of his hot-pink cropped wig, ruddy cheeks and crimped petticoat was enough to sweep us up in the festive mood. Seeing him gussied up in full Wonder Woman costume was just the cherry on top… And boy were we glad to see Wilton reunited with partner-in-crime, inveterate jokester and, as of last year, first-time script writer Jon Monie in Beauty & the Beast – a barmy, brassy twist on the original fairy tale penned by Monie himself and awarded Best Script at the Great British Pantomime Awards 2019 to boot. A slapstick fest with oodles of wit and quick-fire puns (the little munchkin next to us had to have quite a few quips explained to her), Monie has thrown everything at his debut – including the kitchen sink. He and Wilton are a riot as mother-and-son duo Polly and Louis LePlonk, gamely riffing off one another and having a good old dig at anything and anyone from Boris Johnson (with a rather naughty “oven-ready” baguette baking skit) to the French in the process.

Marion Sauvebois, Swindon Advertiser

Monie’s non-stop slapstick tomfoolery is ably aided and abetted by Nick Wilton as Louis’ mum Polly: frolicsome, ludicrous, unapologetically Les Dawson-esque and dressed, in all scenes, in outfits of the worst possible taste, this dame is most definitely not a drag… If you’re looking for the fairest pantomime in the land this season, go with this one: it’s unabashedly upbeat, brazenly buoyant and full-on festive fabulous from the first wave of the fairy’s want all the way through to the flamboyant finale – oh yes it is.

Melissa Blease, The Bath Magazine

Money routine with Jon Monie – Photographer: Freia Turland

The Bath panto this year is an absolute triumph… a fresh, energetic and engaging production written by the multi-talented Jon Monie… The now-familiar comedy duo of Jon Monie and Nick Wilton as Louis and Polly La Plonk ensure there is never a dull moment... There is not a weak link in this sparkling chain of laughter, goodwill and beautifully balanced family entertainment.

Petra Schofield, Bath Echo