When people think of Beauty and the Beast their minds tend to drift to the recent incarnations of the Disney movie or the upcoming live action remake. I would like to put forward that people should also pay attention to the ballet version by David Nixon. The show, which is currently running at the Norwich Theatre Royal, has everything that the over versions of the story have, with the added bonus of the slick and stylish dancing used to tell the tale. The show is not solely the dancing though; the live music is a delight to listen to and there are moments of humour mixed in with the emotional story, with the main comic relief coming from the sisters, Isabelle (Rachael Gillespie) and Chantelle (Dominique Larose). These elements combine to create a well-rounded experience, with various layers for the audience to enjoy.
Technically it is honestly a hard time in finding something negative to say about the production. So I won’t. The choreography, by David Nixon, tells the story effortlessly, with the plot being easy to follow even for those inexperienced with the genre. The performances of all the dancers were flawless, with every movement being in sync with their fellow performers and the music. Of these, the role of The Beast, portrayed by Ashley Dixon, was the highlight of the show. He believably depicted a primitive animal, with the extra grunt and sniff thrown in to the exceptional choreography to create the overall performance. Whilst these performances were high class, special tribute has to be paid to the set design. Though what the designers can do is limited (due to the movement the ballet requires) the setup constructed was ingenious. The spaces moved cleverly with elements being reused for various means, either to swap the scene, progress the story, or achieve a laugh from the audience.
Overall the ballet offers an incredibly enjoyable time, for those both experienced in the ballet and those who are not. As long as you like a well-told story, with beautiful moves and music accompanying it, then you will certainly enjoy Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast will be Running at Norwich Theatre Royal October 26th-29th