BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Playhouse Theatre Glen Eden

BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Playhouse Theatre Glen EdenA simply delightful experience is to be had at Playhouse Theatre's offering of Beauty and the Beast Jnr this week.

The show is delivered in fairy-tale fashion with an appropriate French Village edge.

The cast is fabulous and is supported by a creatively constructed set to deliver this much-loved story.

Monica Ellmers performance of Belle encapsulates the meaning of true beauty. She is the full deal; beautiful both in her physicality and integrity to the role. Her voice is exquisite and has a maturity beyond her years. She's captivating.

The Beast played by Julz Wagner was again true to his character; a frightened unsure man who is covered not only in an ugly mask but one of anger and loneliness until Belle captivates his heart.

Risk-taking is an integral part of theatre. If we don't try new things, we'll keep doing the same.

It was refreshing to see Playhouse Theatre to take a risk to be the first Community Theatre in New Zealand to produce a Next-Gen show were all members; cast, crew and production team are under the age of 28.

And it paid off.

Director Matt Billington (18) is a bundle of energy and ideas. Already a successful entrepreneur his determination to make things work is obvious in the way he has used the stage space; creating effective and original transitions of time and place. Everything was smooth and kept the audience engaged. The set was interesting and there was never a dull moment. Accolades to this young man and his foresight.

The cast is on the younger side of 18 and under and they are simply delightful.

They are costumed, moved and directed appropriately to bring out the best in them.

Little Sophie James as Chip was cuteness personified and she played her role faultlessly.

This is the second big show for 8-year-old Logan Richardson and he captured our eye right from the Opening Scene, selling his fish, to the very end. Such enthusiasm and dedication to the role was not solely Logan's domain, however, the whole cast puts their heart and soul into it.

Amongst the older cast, it is difficult to name standouts as they were all very very good.

Shaylee Edwards had a very difficult role being encased in a set of French drawers and she was charismatic in her expression and demeanor. Her voice is beautiful as was Heidi Schuler's as Mrs Potts. Shasha Matsumoto's balletic style gave the role of Lumiere a lovely grace, Aaron Cathro nailed the stereotypical Gaston to a 'tee' and Joseph Shoveller was a very handsome Lefou who won favour with the audience.

The Silly Girls Hannah Pronk, Ruby Hall and Denym Tahu were hilarious and kept the audience well entertained.

We left with big smiles on our face and felt glad for coming out to see this show. You will too.

BWW Review: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Playhouse Theatre Glen Eden
Beauty and the Beast

Playhouse Theatre, 15 Glen Eden Road, Glendale Road Glen Eden

April 20th-28th

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From This Author Monica Moore

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