Review: Beauty And The Beast is a triumph and a five-star treat

Beauty And The Beast ***** (Edinburgh Playhouse)

By Allan Crow
Thursday, 28th October 2021, 5:04 pm

You think you’ve seen some amazing musicals, and then along comes Beauty And The Beast to raise the bar to a whole new level.

Breath-taking, magnificent, glorious, stunning - take your pick, this lavish production can more than lay claim to all of ‘em.

The tale as old as time was brought to the stage on a scale you don’t often see here, and it dazzled from the overture to the final bows.

Beauty and The Beast

The Disney hallmark of excellence was evident in every aspect of the show, and it left its audience on its press night transfixed.

The story? You know it off by heart:

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Can love conquer all for the bookish beauty and the beast locked in his castle until he finds ‘the one’ - and, in doing so, break the spell to set his loyal servants free to return to their human forms?

Beauty And The Beast

Courtney Stapleton was fabulous as Belle, and her soaring vocals rang round the theatre while understudy Alyn Hawke delivered a stunning version of If I Can’t Love Her to close an utterly spellbinding first half.

But this was no two-hander.

Across the cast there were outstanding performances, none more so than Gavin Lee as Lumiere who sparkled in the stunning song-and-dance number Be Our Guest which was straight out of Hollywood’s golden era, and Louis Stockil as Le Fou, whose physical comedy routines as Gaston’s sidekick lit up the first half.

The other huge set piece, Gaston, was just as joyful to watch - a real showstopper of a set piece to set the venue buzzing.

From start to finish Beauty And The Beast was both a treat and a triumph, and credit must also go to the set designers, the lighting teams and costume designers for their incredible contributions

It has set the bar incredibly high for every other touring production to attempt to match.

Beauty And The Beast is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until November 27.

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