Beauty and the Beast – Bord Gáis Energy Theatre – Review

Beauty and the Beast – Bord Gáis Energy Theatre – Review
by Brian Merriman

Bord Gais Energy Theatre 150 minutes including interval, until January 8th.
24 November – 08 January 2023

Find out more about this production here.

Bord Gais Energy Theatre is hosting the spectacular musical theatre treat ‘Beauty and the Beast’ over the holiday season (until January 8th, 2023) and it is not to be missed! It is a new and re-imagined production that pours quality over the stage from Angela Lansbury’s early narration to the fluorescent final moments.

This dark and gloomy tale has been read in books, animated, filmed, panto-ed and staged so much that children now understand and are not frightened by the scary scenario. There is such a mature understanding of transformation, difference and beauty within, that the kids drink up every moment of this lavish new production, allowing every adult to rediscover the child within! It should sell out.

Courteney Stapleton’s ‘Belle’ is no one-dimensional heroine. She has a surprisingly strong dramatic depth to her voice and yet can soar with a softness that beguiles. Shaq Taylor’s ‘Beast’ is athletic and comic with a soulful rendition in the finale of act one that lifts the roof.

Tom Senior (and his muscles) occupy the role of ‘Gaston’ with delicious vanity and comedy and Alyn Hawkes ‘Luminiere’ never fails but to light up the show. The other ‘furniture/props’ are packed with talent as Mrs Potts (Emily Squibb) Gogsworth (Nigel Richards) Madame (Samantha Bingley) Babette (Emma Caffrey) et al bring so much heart, musicality and fun throughout the night…leaving Sekhani Dumezweni to steal what is left of our hearts as ‘Chip’.

The talented front line can only be rivalled by the ensemble whose ability to grasp Matt West’s brilliant staging, along with their high-energy delivery is quite spectacular. The colours in the set design and costuming are lush and lavish. The lighting colour is psychedelic. The staging rivals Busby Berkeley, with the golden age of musicals staging and choreography and some wonderful comedy in the Gaston number! Jonathan Gill and his vibrant orchestra overcame early balance issues between pit and stage which took time to settle. Their live playing of the rich arrangements filled the theatre with glorious music throughout the night.

Beauty and the Beast’s new production is pure jaw-dropping spectacle, the beautiful costumes, exquisite props, kaleidoscopic lighting, lavish sets, and great performances continue the high standard of quality musical tours being attracted to this theatre. It is a real seasonal draw.

The final word has to go to one of the best ensemble numbers in a musical to be seen here. If this company only did ‘Be Our Guest’ you would have gotten your money’s worth in full – but they do more, so much more in this wonderful new imagining of this ‘tale as old as time’. And that is what the audience left for home with…wanting even more!

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Scenic design by Stanley A Meyer
Costume design by Ann Hould-Ward
Lighting Design by Natasha Katz
Orchestrations by Danny Troob
Production conceived by Rob Roth
Direction and choreography by Matt West

Categories: Header, Theatre, Theatre Review

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