A Tale as Old as Time, The Adelaide Youth Theatre presents Beauty and The Beast. This show premiered at The Star Theatre on April 24th, running until April 26th. It is based on the book by Linda Woolverton, with music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and adapted from the 1991 movie. It is a beautiful representation of the Disney classic.
The production was directed by Paula Williams, musically directed by Kristy Williamson and choreographed by Alana Sheperdson and Thomas Phillips. It is the story of a selfish prince who wont give an old woman shelter from the rain. She turns out to be a beautiful sorceress who casts a spell on the castle turning the prince into a beast and the rest of his staff into objects. Only when the beast learns to love and someone loves him back will he break the spell. She gives him a rose and says when the final petal falls the spell can't be broken.
The talented Adelaide Youth Theatre have done it again with another successful production. They transported the audience into a world of imagination and the cast offered a believable reincarnation of the childhood classic Beauty and The Beast.
The songs were preformed beautifully throughout this production, including some extras that weren't in the Disney film. The connections between Belle and The Beast, Lumiere, Babette and Chip and Mrs Pots felt very real. The actors presented their roles with perfection, down to the way their character waked, talked and sang.
I could feel the connection between Emma Kavanagh and Angus Heida who played Belle and The Beast. They act professionally and well above their years. Kavanagh portrayed Belle very well, right down to the way she spoke her lines. I could have been convinced I was watching the Disney classic. Her voice was strong and confident and when she sang the audience couldn't help but cheer.
Heida brought a tear to my eye as The Beast. He was a very convincing Beast and an equally handsome prince. 'The Tales as Old as Time' scene where Belle wears that beautiful gold dress and the Beast in his purple jacket when they dance was just beautiful to watch.
Alastair Correll played Gaston and he was spot on. It's hard to play a character people don't like, but I couldn't help but love him. His singing voice was incredible. His sidekick Le Fou (Sebastien Skubala) played his character very well and held a lot of confidence on stage at such a young age.
I felt the mother-son connection between Chip and Mrs Pots played by Oscar Bridges and Serena Martino-Williams. You could see Mrs Pots looking out for Chip throughout the production. Martino-Williams spoke like Mrs Pots from the Disney classic and Bridges was so cute in his costume and held himself very well.
Director Paula Williams said "Directing Beauty and The Beast has been my first director position and I have been thrilled to have had the pleasure to work with such incredible South Australian Talent".
Lumiere (Lucas Horta) and Cogsworth (Jessica Muenchow) were the first characters we met and from this I knew it was going to be a great production. The costumes were amazing and Horta had me convinced he was French. Muenchow played the role exceptionally and was great to see a girl playing Cogsworth. The connection between Lumiere and Babette was very flirty and fun and the tango dance during 'Be Our Guest' was beautiful and professionally done.
My favourite character was Babette (Taylor Coad), she is fun and giggly and really stood out stage. It wasn't just because she spoke exactly like Babette from the Disney classic, but because she looked like her, walked like her, talked like her; she's a triple theat. She was just great to watch and has a huge future ahead of her in the industry.
Stand out moments in this production were when Mrs Pots (Serena Martino-Williams) sang 'Tale as Old as Time'; this was just beautiful to watch. The Silly Girls (Heather Koufopolous, Emily Downing, Josephine Georgio) were also fun to watch and did a great job swooning Gaston.
I loved Camryn Jordans as The Wardrobe, she couldn't have been presented better if she tried and that singing voice wow - incredible. Rory Adams was sweet and gentle as Maurice and played the role of a loving father very well. The Rose (Zali Sedgman) was beautiful to watch as she performed ballet routines on point. She is graceful and has beautiful natural talent.
Overall Beauty and The Beast by The Australian Youth Theatre was a great interpretation of the Disney classic story that cant be faulted. Well done to all the actors. I look forward to seeing the Australian Youth Theatre's next production of Bugsy Malone later in the year.