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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Musical - Her Majesty’s Theatre (VIC)

Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and Book by Linda Woolverton. 


Be their guests in this spectacular production of Beauty and the Beast, where magic is on full display right before your eyes. This polished production will have you leaving the theatre humming these classic tunes well into the following morning.


Reviewed by Matthaios Hortomaris

Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne

Dates and times: On sale now for performances until 24th Nov

Tickets: $50-$200


An enchanting tale as old as time, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is reimagined and brought to life on stage in Melbourne's very own Her Majesty’s Theatre. Based on the 1991 animated film of the same name, this production tells the romantic story of Belle and her Beast with spectacular costumes, dance numbers, and special effects that will make you believe magic is real.


The Australian cast includes Shubshri Kandiah and Belle, Bendan Xavier as Beast, Rohan Browne and Lumiere, Jackson Head as Gaston, Gareth Jacobs as Cogsworth, Jayde Westaby as Mrs Potts, and Nick Cox as Le Fou amongst others.


Beauty and the Beast, Australian Tour. Images by Daniel Boud


The set was breathtaking, with a mix of physical components, use of LCD back screen, and the occasional clever projection as well. We were easily transported from quaint cottage, to terrifying woods coherently throughout the evening multiple times. The effects used on stage are truly mind boggling, garnering gasps and awe from the crowd, with wonder on how these were so seamlessly executed. The night was further elevated by the live orchestra, conducted by Music Director Luke Hunter. The musician’s performance gave us goosebumps!


I think we can all agree the character of Belle is just as important now as she was back in 1991. Confident, well read, inquisitive, and slightly rebellious, Kandiah perfectly embodied all these characteristics, and more, with her charm. Kandiah’s voice was also a flawless match for our on stage Belle.


"Gaston" and "Be Our Guest"...These two numbers are worth the price of admission alone.

The prosthetics on Xavier’s Beast allow him to be transformed in the role, and his adoration of Belle was so genuine, engaging audiences, getting us on his side despite the Beast’s temper. Xavier’s boyish charm did provide a Beast with smoothed out edges, however his powerhouse vocals were on full display in “If I Can’t Love Her”.


Our night had swing, Rubin Matters, fill in for the role of Gaston, and was just as polished. Matters owned the role completely, with impressive presence and physical comedy on display. Gaston would not be complete without his bumbling, enamoured sidekick of Le Fou, played by Cox, with boundless energy across the stage the whole night.


The remainder of the supporting characters were just as memorable as the leads. Browne’s Lumiere was cheeky as ever, with impressive flames to match. Hayley Martin’s Babette was the perfect wiley counterpart to Lumiere, exuding her sultry presence.Westaby’s Mrs Potts expertly performed the homely song "Beauty and the Beast", manifesting warmth as any good teapot should. Jacobs’ Cogsworth earned plenty of laughs throughout the night as the tightly wound majordomo of the castle. Lastly, one of the most surprising additions to this rendition was Alana Tranter’s Madame. Exchanging the operatic wardrobe for an empathic, dramatic vanity, Tranter’s performance deservedly received the most laughs.


A must see for any theatre or Disney fan!

The two stand outs of the evening were the performances of the songs "Gaston" and "Be Our Guest", and it is still difficult to decide which one is better. The first showstopper, "Gaston", has the performers using props to full effect, especially the steins, which had me grinning from ear to ear. The vibrant and toe tapping "Be Our Guest" was just as impressive. The stage quite literally came to life, continuously moving, with performers at one stage on the ground, making snowflake patterns with their bodies, with a birds eye view provided. This number also included a spectacular tap dancing finale. These two numbers are worth the price of admission alone.


Multiple times throughout the evening, the performance received standing ovations, and it's not hard to see why once you experience this show. With every performer putting their all into this show, you will be whisked away to 18th century France. A must see for any theatre or Disney fan! I’d gladly eat five dozen eggs just to experience this again.


 

Tickets are on sale now for performances until 24th November 2024, with new performances on sale from Thursday 4th July 2024, exclusively via www.beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au 


CAST

Shubshri Kandiah BELLE

Brendan Xavier BEAST

Rohan Browne LUMIERE

Jakson Head GASTON

Gareth Jacobs COGSWORTH

Jayde Westaby MRS POTTS

Nick Cox LE FOU

Rodney Dobson MAURICE

Hayley Martin BABETTE

Alana Tranter MADAME

Tanika Anderson ENSEMBLE

Richard Astbury SWING

Sarah Bourke ENSEMBLE

Cameron Boxall ENSEMBLE

William Brougham ENSEMBLE

Virginia Cashmere ENSEMBLE

Emily Corkeron SWING

Phoebe Coupe ENSEMBLE

Amba Fewster ENSEMBLE

Anthony Garcia ENSEMBLE

Luke Haberecht ENSEMBLE

Rubin Matters SWING

Amy Hopwood SWING

Brady Kitchingham ENSEMBLE

Chloe Malek ENSEMBLE

Ryan Ophel SWING

Anthony Sheppard ENSEMBLE

Thalia Smith ENSEMBLE

Luke Ward ENSEMBLE

Grace Williams SWING

Romeo Angelkovski CHIP

Akira Guiguen CHIP

Christopher Joseph CHIP


CREATIVES

Linda Woolverton BOOKWRITER

Alan Menken COMPOSER

Howard Ashman LYRICIST

Tim Rice LYRICIST

Matt West DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER

Stanley A. Meyer SCENIC DESIGNER

Ann Hould-Ward COSTUME DESIGNER

Natasha Katz LIGHTING DESIGNER

Michael Kosarin MUSIC SUPERVISOR AND ARRANGEMENTS

John Shivers SOUND DESIGNER

Rob Roth PRODUCTION CONCEPTION

Danny Troob ORCHESTRATOR

Darrel Maloney VIDEO AND PROJECTION DESIGNER

David H. Lawrence HAIR & MAKE-UP DESIGNER

Jim Steinmeyer ILLUSION DESIGNER

David Chase DANCE MUSIC ARRANGEMENTS

Christoph Buskies ELECTRONIC MUSIC PROGRAMMING

Rick Sordelet FIGHT DIRECTOR

Lorenzo Pisoni PHYSICAL MOVEMENT COORDINATOR

Sam Scalamoni ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Chandon Jones ASSOCIATE CHOREOGRAPHER


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