Review - Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody (King's Head Theatre)

Fat Rascal Theatre have done it again.

After a stonking run in 2017, Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody returns.

Robyn Grant and Jamie Mawson in Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
Beau wants adventure in the great wide somewhere, and that's exactly what he gets when his mother is captured by a mysterious beast, who lives in an enchanted castle on the outskirts of Beau's hometown. 

Forget what you know about the Disney classic, Robyn Grant and Daniel Elliot's hysterically funny parody is the only version of the Beauty and the Beast tale that matters anymore. Weaving razor sharp wit in with bawdier sight gags and quips, the script is an expertly crafted patchwork of comedy. Jokes come thick and fast, leaving very little breathing space, and resulting in one hundred minutes of howling fun.

Jamie Mawson in Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
Music by James Ringer-Beck and Nicola Chang brilliantly pastiches the pomp and grandeur of Alan Menken's Beauty and the Beast tunes. One standout moment sees the cast parody the famous showstopper Be Our Guest to hilarious effect, as the enchanted household objects invite Beau to Have A Brunch. Sadly whilst the anthropomorphic teapot, clock and candlestick Beauty and the Beast fans know and love are all in attendance, Beast's talking toilet is occupied elsewhere. The musical it outrageous fun in its own right, but those especially familiar with the 1991 Disney film will enjoy the lovingly executed lampooning in the script. 

Fans of the Disney film may also recognise Madame Ouef, a townsperson who appears intermittently throughout the musical, desperately hunting for eggs. An excellent homage to the egg enthusiast seen in the film's opening number. 

Allie Monro and the cast of Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody
Photo credit - Nick Rutter
The cast of 5, who multirole as an assortment of familiar characters, know just how to wring every drop of comedy out of Grant and Elliot's writing. Grant herself takes on the role of Beast, who learns to overcome her self-confidence issues and let love and friendship into her life. Jamie Mawson is brilliantly funny as doe-eyed Jane Austen novel enthusiast Beau, and Allie Monro is a glorious scene stealer as Beau's bohemian, beturbaned mother 'crazy old' Maureen. Monroe is equally brilliant as La Fou Fou, the under appreciated stooge of Katie Wells' brash and preppy fox hunting enthusiast Siobhan. Meanwhile, amongst other roles, Aaron Dart is a scream as a trio of angry villagers.

Put simply, Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody is almost impossibly good. So funny, you'll have tears of laughter streaming down your face by the end, this production is a rip-roaring success.