With its spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a joy to watch, evoking the nostalgia, magic, and charm of the original film
A refreshed version of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST makes a welcome return to Manchester’s Palace Theatre this month, boasting spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology to bring the beloved tale to life.
Based on the 1991 animated Disney film, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST tells the story of a selfish prince cursed to be a beast by an enchantress. The Beast must learn to love and be loved in return to break the spell. All hope seems lost until Belle, a beautiful but isolated heroine, stumbles upon the castle and is taken prisoner by the Beast. With help from the Beast’s servants, Belle comes to appreciate and love the Beast, all while evading a stalking hunter who wants to marry her.
Reimagined and redesigned, this new stunning new stage production merges state-of-the-art technology with exuberant new dance arrangements and a compelling new set to bring the beloved story to life in a way never seen before.
Stanley A Meyer’s scenic design is a joy to watch, combining trucked units and Darrel Maloney’s video design with Natasha Katz’s clever lighting, which at times fills the theatre, to transport the audience from the spooky and scary woods to the grandeur of the Beast’s castle.
The new dance routines, choreographed by Director Matt West, are equally spectacular, with the high energy BE OUR GUEST sequence standing out as the highlight of the show. From the exuberant tap dance section to the can-can sequence with its kaleidoscopic staging and Busby Berkeley-inspired projections, this entire sequence will take your breath away and is worthy of the ticket price alone.
In the lead role of Belle, Courtney Stapleton owns the show with her quiet authority, demonstrating her effortless, heart-stopping range in A CHANGE IN ME.
Shaq Taylor is equally captivating as the Beast, his multi-layered performance getting to the heart of the character. While he doesn’t get many opportunities to sing, he makes the most of his big number IF I CAN’T LOVE HER, which closes the show’s first half.
Elsewhere, Tom Senior and Liam Buckland perfectly play the self-obsessed Gaston and his sidekick Le Fou, while Sam Bailey is warm and loveable as Mrs Potts.
But the real stars of the show are Gavin Lee as Lumiere and Nigel Richards as Cogsworth, whose pantomime dame-esque roles provide much of the comedy, bringing life and heart to the show.
Add in Disney’s much-loved score and some spectacular special effects, and this new version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the best one yet, evoking the nostalgia, magic, and charm of the original film. Grab yourself a ticket – you won’t regret it.
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST runs at the Palace Theatre until 4 June 2022
Donna is the Founder and Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she works as a digital marketing specialist, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage and The Reviews Hub. Loves Formula 1, prosecco and life.