The new UK tour of Beauty And The Beast lands at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre on Thurs 9 Dec, just in time for Christmas, and stays in situ for over a month. To call it by its most formal title, it’s Disney’s Beauty And The Beast – after all, what’s more magical than Disney? If you know the film it’s based on, especially the scenes in the snow, I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a perfect family Christmas show.
For those unfamiliar with the stage version, or the film, or the 1940s French movie version or the original fairy tale from the mid-18th century, Beauty And The Beast tells the story of a cursed prince, a bookworm, a crazed inventor and talking furniture, all with a ton of heart and emotion. It teaches us to look beyond the surface and not judge someone from a first impression. This time out, it’s been reimagined using the latest theatrical innovations; this beloved ‘tale as old as time’ will be brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty And The Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. It remains, to this day, among the top 10 longest-running shows in Broadway history. Twenty-seven years after that theatrical debut, members of the original creative team have reunited on this new production that retains all of the spellbinding songs of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice: Belle, Gaston and Be Our Guest prime among them.
In Cardiff, Courtney Stapleton and Alyn Hawke will portray the iconic Disney couple; the tour will also feature two-time Tony Award nominee Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, The Spongebob Musical) as Lumiere. Among many new features of this production is an exuberant tapdance within Be Our Guest – created for Gavin Lee, who’s known for his incredible tapping abilities. Just as excitingly, there’s to be a brand new prologue played before each performance – recorded by Angela Lansbury, who voiced Mrs. Potts in the 1991 movie, thus providing a connection to the WMC’s other Disney stage adaptation, February’s Bedknobs And Broomsticks.
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Thurs 9 Dec-Sat 15 Jan.
Tickets: £22.50-£95. Info: 029 2063 6464 / wmc.org.uk
words SARAH BOWDIDGE
See Beauty and the Beast LIVE in Cardiff
Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff Bay, Thurs 9 – Dec-Sat 15 Jan.