Beauty and the Beast - review

PUBLISHED: 10:55 27 October 2010

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Archant

WHEN I heard of it I thought it had a brave concept to it.

Twisting together a light opera with a children’s Disney classic sounded to me like putting together chalk and cheese.

So imagine my surprise when I turn up and the theatre was packed with children as young as four, many accompanied by grandparents and older adults.

They clearly had it right, I had it wrong.

For this was a beautifully put together show by the Bristol Light Orchestra Club, which featured the best in music from the film and brilliantly acted out scenes.

And its appeal was for everyone – families, students and pensioners, and me.

The show got off to a fantastic start thanks to lively opening musical numbers, including songs from the hilarious Gaston and Lefou, the crazy villagers and the beautiful Belle.

Then as the plot thickened, the audience is shown the Beast and his castle’s staff Lumiere, Mrs Potts and Cogsworth – all turned into household items because of a spell put on the Beast.

It is gripping watching as the Beast tries his best, with difficulty, to make Belle fall for him so the spell is lifted.

The acting and music casts the mind back to the film, which is followed closely throughout the show.

But it is the effects which, for me, make the show more enjoyable than the cartoon.

Not only are the audience constantly entertained by the cast, but also by the theatre effects, which include big bangs, bright lighting and trickery.

So do not be fooled by the thought of opera mixed with cartoon, this show manages both perfectly to produce family-fun entertainment sure to be enjoyed for a long time.

Beauty And The Beast will be staged at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday.

Tickets, priced £12-24.50, are available from www.bristolhippodrome.org.uk

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