“TALE as old as time” is the sweet melody from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and indeed this touring production from Martin Dodd and Peter Frosdick is just that.
Beautiful and clever village girl meets handsome prince - although he is a hairy beast at first, granted - and both live happily ever after.
Ashley Oliver as Belle, a sweet and feisty girl who dreams of leaving her small provincial village, is true to the Disney character although a little saccharine for my taste.
When Belle’s father is imprisoned by a terrible beast in his enchanted castle, she offers to take his place.
Soon Belle and the mighty beast, played sensitively by Shane Dalton, learn to be friends and the beast’s curse is broken.
Stunning scenery and magical song and dance scenes left the audience beaming while the animated household objects were a delight.
My daughter Georgia had great fun spotting dancing cutlery, napkins and crockery!
My favourite was Phil Barley’s, Lumiere, who employed just the right amount of humour and charm as a ladies man but the show stealer was definitely Ben Harlow as hunky heart-throb Gaston.
All bulging biceps and slapstick comedy, he had the audience giggling while his sidekick Lefou, Eddie Dredge, ably played the loyal village idiot.
Their number ‘Gaston’ was a treat and got the show off to a lively start halfway through Act One.
The transformation scene was amazing and in true fairytale style, the pair have eyes only for one another.
A moral love story that defines the saying ‘beauty is only skin deep’, this production at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham for one night only was a joy to behold.
The production continues its tour around the country.