I cannot lie, I had big expectations for this performance; not only because I just love Beauty and the Beast and everything based on this fairy tale, but also because it has been made into a musical, which is my favourite theatre genre. But let’s focus on the details.
There’s so much to say about this production, but especially about the great collaboration on the stage. The actors were incredible, working like one big organism, and it was real pleasure to watch them. From the main roles to the smallest, each was perfectly planned. Even some of the props had their own life thanks to this fantastic team. The choreography was full of energy, and every move felt like an important part of the bigger design. The songs and vocals in the show, especially the group ones, were also a large part of the feeling that every single element here is connected together by small invisible wires. Coming back to the props, they were everywhere, and the scenography was really movable, which added spaciousness to everything happening on the stage. Dancing flowers and moving mirrors are just small examples of this beautiful scenery.
The lighting does not disappoint either: from simple day and night-time light to special effects created using different shades and colours. All of it made a magical atmosphere, not only on the stage but also around it. I should here mention that the action of the play was not limited to the stage area. Characters run everywhere, in front of the audience and between the rows of seats. Maybe a little bit distracting, but at the same time it created a friendly, family environment for the spectators.
To end, I would like to mention two characters who I remember exceptionally well: Felice played by Amy Lawrence and the Jay played by Georgia Anderson. They both had the same funny and energetic way of playing which made me smile countless times. I also had some sense that they are lost twins because of the similarities of their characters – and I am absolutely not talking about it in a negative way. They were just fantastic, and I hope that it is just the beginning of their careers in the world of art.
I don’t want to risk giving spoilers about the show, because it is absolutely worth watching it with your own eyes. So if you have time, grab friends or family and make a theatre trip to the Rose Theatre as soon as possible.
Written by: Ciaran McConville
Directed by: Lucy Morrell
Music and Lyrics, Orchestrations & Musical Direction: Eamonn O’Dwyer
Set Designer: Frankie Bradshaw
Costume Designer: Peter Todd
Lighting Designer: Emma Chapman
Sound Designer: George Dennis
Choreographer: Aimee Leigh
Beauty and the Beast plays at Rose Theatre, Kingston until 3 January 2022. Further information and tickets via the below link.