Disney proudly invites you to ‘Be Our Guest’ as the most enchanted musical of all time, Beauty and the Beast, returns to the UK stage in 2022. We were lucky enough to see it in Manchester last night! Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 26 years ago, the original creative team have reunited on this new production that features all of the spellbinding music and lyrics of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Spectacularly reimagined using the latest theatrical innovations, this beloved ‘tale as old as time’ was brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast.
The thing that really sets this show apart from other shows we’ve seen, was the use of technology and lighting design to enhance the physical sets on the stage. The lighting effects add to this magical atmosphere, with the whole mood of the theatre changing depending on which part of the performance we are at. The sets themselves are beautiful, but the use of digital projections and lighting effects really elevate this and transport you out of the theatre. The costumes too add a sense of grandeur to the show and Belle's yellow ball gown is stunning! It's fantastic seeing all the children in the audience wearing the same dress!
Sam Bailey, 2013 winner of X Factor was superb as Mrs Potts, Courtney Stapleton played a wonderful Belle and has a beautiful voice. Gaston, played by Tom Senior captures the audience attention with us bulging muscles and and Nigel Richards plays a wonderful comedic Cogsworth,. The Beast is played by Shaq Taylor and his vocals are outstanding. Understudies Liam Buckland and Rojae Simpson did an excellent job covering Le Fou and Chip and were faultless in their performances.
The show features all of the classic songs from the animated film, with the addition of several songs exclusive to the stage musical version, including Change in Me, If I Can’t Love Her and Home, as well as Human Again. The choreography is extremely impressive – most notably Gaston in Be Our Guest. Be Our Guest is the highlight of the show, featuring a brand new tap dance which was created especially for Gavin Lee (who plays Lumiere).
All in all Beauty and the Beast is a stunning production. The beautiful costumes, magical effects and incredible score make it an enchanting experience and a must see for all Disney fans.
Beauty and the Beast is on at the Palace Theatre Manchester until the 4th June and then moves to Bristol and Dublin. Book your tickets here!