Disney’s beloved Olivier Award-winning stage musical Beauty and the Beast – re-imagined and re-designed in a completely new production staged by members of the original award-winning creative team – is now open at the London Palladium for a strictly limited season until Saturday 17 September.
Courtney Stapleton and Shaq Taylor play the iconic lead roles.
Beauty and the Beast is reimagined in startling new designs which use the latest theatrical innovations. Olivier Award nominee Matt West directs and choreographs this new production, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, bookwriter Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz.
Let’s see what the critics are saying…
Cindy Marcolina, BroadwayWorld: Running at two and a half hours, including as many dark points as the original film, it might not be the wisest choice for the little ones in the audience, but Disney fans will love it. It’s a dreamy, well-mounted production with a soaring, sumptuous score. It’s as big as musical theatre gets.
Suzy Evans, London Theatre: Ultimately Beauty and the Beast hits all the marks you want from a heartwarming Disney show. You know what you’re signing up for, and the current updates and tweaks make Belle’s trailblazing story of sacrifice all the more relevant. Women shouldn’t have to give up their autonomy to inspire change, but it’s validating to remember that one woman can have immense power in changing a community and the world.
Alice Saville, Evening Standard: Penned by original composer Alan Menken and new lyricist Tim Rice, the additional songs are sometimes less successful, with the exception of the wistful, spirited waltz ‘Human Again’ and the Beast’s spinetingling solo ‘If I Can’t Love Her’. But this production zips through its story with an agility that its lumbering Disney stablemate Frozen the Musical must be jealous of, pausing only to thrill the audience with magic tricks (the beast’s transformation is a wonder). All in all, it’s an extravagant, memorable update on a tale that’s as old as time, but as exhilarating as ever.
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out: The title song remains an absolute banger, and if you just want two and a half hours of general musical theatre stuff happening, spectacularly, and vaguely in alignment with an old Disney film, then fill your boots. Disney effectively owns this story now, at least as far as musicals go, and while there are many depressing things about that, it unquestionably looks like a dream.
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