This year’s musical Beauty and the Beast was an ambitious and memorable production, featuring a stunning set built largely by Mr Booth. The lavish costumes added to the sense of spectacle, as did the excellent lighting and sound designs by Jake Adams and Joe Hancock. The cast rose magnificently to the occasion, performing Disney’s epic tale with real passion and gusto.
Issy Crutchly and Daniel Collier excelled as the eponymous leads, not least in their performances of the challenging solo numbers. Harry Camilleri was charming and obnoxious in equal measure as the villainous Gaston, while the comic duo of Max Penrose and Alex Shadbolt as Lumiere and Cogsworth delighted the audience. There were other strong character performances from Ciara Clogger, Flora Tucker, Alex Ansdell and Yiannis Goeldner-Thompson, among others. The chorus threw themselves into the big musical numbers with fantastic energy, earning standing ovations for their full-blooded singing and dancing.