Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s annual production. That’s according to the theatre’s artistic director Daniel Evans and executive director Rachel Tackley writing in their programme notes for Beauty and the Beast.
And how right they are! If ever there was a feel-good production to get you in the festive spirit, then this is it. It’s a show bursting with magical majesty; a vibrant spectacle that is absolutely absorbing from start to finish.
The notes continue: “For the young people taking part, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience; for all of us watching, it was a day of enormous pride in their achievement and an uplifting and moving testament that the future of CFT is in very good hands.”
Here, here! Bravo to this production of Beauty and the Beast; there was so much to admire.
Memorable musical numbers brought together some indelible character performances – take a bow Mia Cunningham-Stockdale (Beauty), Hal Darling (Beast) and especially Crispin Glancy as an uproariously fantastic Kiki.
The tale sees a witless, ill-fated prince living a pitiful existence in a castle until he comes together with a gentle and beautiful girl, exploring her feelings of love and compassion.
This new version on the original story works magnificently and director Dale Rooks’ brilliant take, which has been adapted from the original fairy tale by Anna Ledwich (with music and lyrics by Richard Taylor) brought the house down.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth got as glimpse of what was on offer when she paid a recent visit to the theatre and witnessed an enchanting scene from the play. And, let’s face it, if it is good enough for the monarch then, frankly, what are you waiting for?
Until December 31.