Beauty and the Beast
A spectacular retelling of the original, much-loved fairytale
Beauty and the Beast Written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Adapted and Directed by Theresa Heskins
Review by David Bithell for A View To A Kiln/Radio Kiln
When Bella’s family unwittingly doom her to imprisonment in a castle with a beast, Bella believes she is there to clean; her sisters believe she’s about to be eaten. When she meets The Beast, what will happen…?
A beloved fable that has been inspiring young and old for generations, join us at the New Vic this year and let us charm all ages of your family with a story where first impressions are not all they seem, and love and kindness have the power to change the world.
Well after the disappointment of not having a festive play at the New Vic since 2019's offering of the wonderful Prince and the Pauper, this play has been something we have all been waiting for, and it was certainly well worth the wait.
From start to finish, Theresa's interpretation keeps us hooked in to the world of the Beast and paying homage to the original tale we see a darker story as opposed to the Disney version.
Having seen both, I very much preferred this, but we get to see the Beast propose daily to Belle with the marry me, no, marry me, no.
As with all the other plays at the New Vic, the creative and artistic department have done it again not only with the fantastic set but amazing costumes.
We also get to see the actual back story of the Beast in detail.
The red goblins in their all red costumes led by a scheming and meddling Rajnhildre the Goblin Queen played by the fantastic Danielle Bird, she freezes Polly Lister’s Warrior Queen into a statue as punishment, the prince is also turned into the Beast.
Nicholas Richardson who plays Beast is literally head and shoulders above Belle (Rhiannon Skerritt) thanks to his amazing costume as he paces up and down the stage frustrated at life with being a Beast and just wants to be human again.
Belle, who certainly proves not to a pushover, keeps true to herself with her own values.
We really enjoyed Nigella's performance as Belle's sister. Her imitating Yorkshire accent during one of the scenes had us all in stitches.
I personally enjoyed Wheeliam's character played by Jonathan Charles, there was a moment funny moment in the play where he was basically playing "piggy in the middle".
Overall, this is a wonderful play for all ages with a strong cast lineup, however in some parts a little girl close by, clutched onto her parents when the Beast in his dark, monster-like, powerful presence dominated the stage.
Catch Beauty and the Beast at The New Vic Theatre from Friday 26th November until 29th January 2022
Tickets can be purchased from the New Vic website: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by calling the Box Office on 01782 717 962