Joyous, Gorgeous and Magnificent piece of musical theatre
***** 5 Stars
27 years after its Broadway debut, Disney Theatricals have brought their special brand of magic back to its first globally successful stage musical adaptation. Beauty and the Beast for the last few years was produced by another UK based producer with luck lustre results so it’s clear from this gorgeously sumptuous new production that Disney have embraced the success of the Live action film and put it on stage with truly magical results.
Director and Choreographer Matt West has delivered Rob Roth’s new production in style, with effortless story telling blending with pure Broadway dance numbers that would make Busby Barclay proud. “Be Our Guest” starts big, gets bigger and even bigger still until its dripping with pure musical theatre goodness that rightly has the audiences applauding long and hard.
The cast are first class, Courtney Stapleton’s “Belle” is everything and more than you could want from the character with gorgeous vocals to match. Stepping into the role of the Beast is alternate, Alyn Hawke who gives the heartless prince doomed forever to live as a Beast incredible light and shade as the Beast learns to Love, Hawke plays it with gusto. Forming a polished comedy double act Gavin Lee’s “Lumiere” and Nigel Richards “Cogsworth” are a pure joy, with faultless timing and give the production true comedy joy de verve. Special mention also goes to Sam Bailey (yes she of x-factor fame) who proves her worth as “Mrs Potts” and gives her performance of “Beauty and the Beast” all the charm and warmth it needs to melt even the hardest of hearts.
Speaking of Mrs Potts, the originator of the character Dame Angela Lansbury lends her voice to the prologue which sets the show off in sparkling form. The principals are joined by a driven and strong 14 person ensemble. Every single performer plays there part amongst the many smaller characters with style.
This new production features a stunning scenic design from Stanley A Meyer which is supported by Natasha Katz lighting design and a pure west end worthy sound design from John Shivers. These core production values are boosted even further with Darrel Maloney’s absolutely stunning Projection and video design for the show. If that were not enough Ann Hould-Wards Costume design is the cherry on the cake, borrowing heavily from the live action movie these costume are pure quality and knock the eye out adding the extra layer of sumptuousness this stellar production deserves.
The music is delivered in an equally high standard from a 10 piece pit orchestra under the baton of resident MD Jonathan Gill. This is the final Scottish stop for the Tour for the moment hence its lengthy Run at the Playhouse.
Since reopening the Playhouse have truly brought out the big guns to attract the audiences and this production of Beauty and the Beast is a joyous, gorgeous and magnificent piece of musical theatre that truly proves that Disney has brought back the magic to a tale as old as time!
Grab those gold dust ticket before the magic leaves the Edinburgh Playhouse!
Disney Presents Beauty and the Beast, The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse, Runs until Saturday 27th November. For tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/disneys-beauty-and-the-beast/edinburgh-playhouse/