Beauty and the Beast

Malvern Theatres


Amidst the howling wolves and menacing gargoyles, on stage at Malvern Theatres, a magical love story unfolded in Ballet Theatre UK’s performance of Beauty and the Beast.

A vain and selfish Prince is punished for turning away a beggar woman during a storm and an enchantress curses him to become a hideous beast. The lesson he needs to learn is that true beauty is found within, so is told the spell can only be broken if he can learn to love another.

An old merchant (Jake Davies) who lives at the edge of the woods with his three daughters embarks on a disastrous journey to collect his goods from the port. The father is chased through the woods by a pack of hungry wolves and as the wolves circle, taking turns to attack, he stumbles on the gates to the gothic castle where the Beast resides.

The Beast (Ben Crossley Pritchard) discovers the father stealing a rose for Beauty and says he must die for his crime. The father explains that his greedy elder daughters demanded he bring them back jewels but his youngest only wanted a single rose. The Beast bargains with the father and conjures up two enchanted necklaces as long as the youngest daughter takes the father’s place in the castle.

The sisters (Ester Cameron and Anabelle Reese) are consumed by their precious jewels until they begin to tighten round their necks and their husbands (Takuma Nakano and Rhys Tomas) try to help remove the necklaces only to burn their hands. Beauty (Erin Flaherty) agrees to see the Beast and beg for freedom and forgiveness to try to save her family but the Beast says her father will die unless she agrees to live with him forever. The gargoyles banish the father leaving Beauty trapped behind the gates with no escape.

At the end of Act One the atmosphere is tense and the incredible set design by Martyn Plant adds to the mystery and jeopardy with the huge Gothic gates and forest scene backdrop.

Act Two sees the despair from Beauty at her imprisonment as she battles with the Beast’s ferocious temper and the realisation that she will never see her family again.

The music by Antonin Leopold Dvoiak, arranged by Simon Patterson, sets the pace and tone as the mood becomes more buoyant and hopeful as the Beast starts to sympathise with Beauty and tries to make amends by offering her a magic mirror. Christopher Moore, artistic director, created a pas de deux for the iconic ballroom scene just before the Beast finally relinquishes his control and sets Beauty free.

After Beauty is released back to her family the Beast is heartbroken and as Beauty peers into her magic mirror, she realises she must go back to the Beast to help him. The Enchantress (Ana Carolina Freire) enlightens Beauty to the wicked curse and explains Beauty’s true love has broken the spell.

In a whirl of smoke the Prince emerges back to his former self and Beauty and the Prince marry and live happily ever after.

A gorgeously exquisite retelling of this classic tale Beauty and the Beast captured the hearts of all young and old keeping the audience transfixed throughout. The costume and production design by Daniel Hope added a wonderful contrast between the elegance of Beauty’s golden ball gown with the Beast’s dreaded locks and the fabulous wolves and gargoyles to add menace to the mix.

Emma Trimble


Find Beauty and the Beast on Friday 30 November at Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton, call the box office on 01823 414141 and to see more dates and venues see 

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