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BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Edinburgh Playhouse


BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Edinburgh Playhouse

BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Edinburgh Playhouse

BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Edinburgh Playhouse

Disney's Beauty And The Beast is a musical first staged on Broadway in 1994 with music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and adapted from the 1991 film of the same name.

When an entitled Prince (Alyn Hawke) refuses shelter to an old beggar woman, she curses him and his castle for his selfishness, turning the handsome Prince into a grotesque beast. The only thing that will break the curse is if he learns how to love someone else before the enchanted rose she leaves him wilts and dies, or else the Prince and his staff will remain this way forever.

Belle (Courtney Stapleton) is a beautiful but slightly unusual girl as she prefers to read books rather than gushing over local muscled dreamboat Gaston (Tom Senior) like the other women her age. When Belle's father Maurice (Martin Ball) goes missing, Belle tracks him down in a cell in the enchanted castle and offers herself as the Beast's prisoner in his place.

As you would expect from Disney, this is a lavish production. The castle staff have been transformed into inanimate objects like clocks and teapots and the costumes are stunning. The comedy highlight is Gavin Lee's performance as Lumiere, the candlestick. He offers the perfect laid back and fun attitude in contrast to the more stuffy Cogsworth (Nigel Richards).

All the songs you love from the original film are here such as "Be Our Guest"; "Gaston" and "Tale As Old As Time" with additional songs like "If I Can't Love Her". This is an extremely talented cast and the real strength of the show is the big ensemble numbers which make for quite the spectacle.

The real difference with this production compared to previous ones is that LED screens are used for some of the backdrops and special effects but I thought this was done really well and didn't take away any of the magical elements of the show.

Staying loyal to the original film and with outstanding performances Disney's Beauty And The Beast will have a wide range of appeal to families, musical theatre fans and Disney enthusiasts.

Disney's Beauty And The Beast is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday 27 November.

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