Beauty and the Beast at Rose Theatre, Kingston, Christmas Production; 3 December 2021 – 3 January 2022
We were delighted to be able to return to the Rose Theatre’s Christmas production this year. Planned for 2020, and postponed due to the pandemic, the performance returned with even more energy this year, and the cast and audience seemed equally delighted to be back at the theatre.
This years production was Beauty and the Beast, cleverly adapted by Ciaran McConville. Ciaran’s adaptation is beautifully told through the eyes of three siblings, which my three daughters (age 11, 9 & 6) really enjoyed. The eldest brother narrates the tale with great artistry, with his younger sister bringing humour and feminism to the tale. The youngest sibling was enthralled.
Ciaran very cleverly managed to weave in tales of friendship, humanity, betrayal and acceptance into the story of Beauty and the Beast. The story begins on Bella’s 18th birthday party, when she discovers her father is affected by a terrible curse, and heads off into the forest to find the Beast who is held responsible. Her friend and father try to stop her, but she heads off on her journey to try and help her beloved father. However, even more so than in the original tale, Beauty makes some unexpected discoveries along the way. Bella’s father and the Beast both show great passion in their performances and the cast from the Rose youth theatre are as professional and impressive as their grown-up counterparts.
The music helps bring the spirit of the story to life, starting with an uplifting song for Bella’s birthday, and some beautiful solos from Bella. There are some very dramatic scenes, including a battle scene, and a captivating hall of mirrors, where Bella begins to unfold the stories she has been told. The cast came through the audience on occasion really making the most of the wide open theatre.
Not untouched by covid, the usual sound engineer had to isolate and a replacement was brought in for the press performance, but after an amusingly loud first few seconds, the sound was flawless. During the press performance adult sin the audience wore masks and an empty seat remained between each family group. We hope the cast and company manage to continue over the Christmas period, so many more families can enjoy this wonderful production.
The show runs for 2 hours and 15 minutes including an internal and is suitable for children aged 5 and up. More information can be found at www.rosetheatre.org
Lucy and her family received complimentary tickets to see Beauty and the Beast, but all their opinions are their own.