The Best of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast: A Magical Spectacle at Her Majesty’s Theatre. An enchanting reimagining of a timeless classic, filled with magic, music, and mesmerizing performances.

The curtains rose on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast last Saturday at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre, delivering a spectacular and enchanting performance that captivated audiences from start to finish. This reimagined production, filled with intricate set designs, stunning costumes, and breathtaking music, brought the beloved tale to life in a way that was both nostalgic and fresh.

Adapted from Walt Disney Pictures’ animated film, which in turn was based on the fairy tale by French author Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, the musical tells the story of an unkind prince transformed into a beast as punishment for his selfishness. To break the spell, the Beast must earn the love of Belle, a bright and beautiful young woman he has imprisoned in his enchanted castle.

All eight songs from the animated film are included in the musical, along with six new songs by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran for 5,461 performances over thirteen years, becoming one of Broadway’s longest-running productions. The musical has since grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide and played in thirteen countries and 115 cities with Melbourne the newest home to the dazzling show.

Shubshri Kandiah was the perfect Disney Princess, portraying Belle with a voice of clarity and an earnest character that truly connected with the audience. Brendan Xavier delivered a compelling performance as the Beast, capturing both his fearsome exterior and tender heart. Rodney Dobson brought a quirky charm to the role of Maurice, Belle’s father, while Swing: Rubin Matters, who stepped into the role of Gaston and Nick Cox who played the role of LeFou, were outstanding. Their performance of “Gaston” was a highlight, sustaining audience intrigue with high energy and seamless transitions from the street into the tavern.

Stealing the show were Rohan Browne as Lumiere, Gareth Jacobs as Cogsworth, and Jayde Westaby as Mrs. Potts. Their chemistry was palpable, and their performance of “Be Our Guest” was mesmerizing, earning a standing ovation. This number was a visual feast, filled with Broadway flair and dazzling effects.

The set design was both intricate and clever, with pieces either flying in or drifting on to seamlessly change locations and transport the audience instantly. The use of projection on a scrim created magical and haunting effects, enhancing the overall atmosphere. The costumes were stunning, especially the designs for the palace residents, who were caught in their transformation between human and inanimate objects.

The music, brought to life by a live orchestra, was spectacular. Alan Menken’s iconic score was performed with precision and passion, adding to the enchanting experience. The sound design, lighting, and choreography all contributed to a cohesive and magical production that kept the audience engaged throughout.

Beauty and the Beast is a timeless classic and a fan favourite. This production at Her Majesty’s Theatre is perfect for all ages, appealing to both fans of the original animated film and newcomers looking for a magical experience. It is funny, heartfelt, and enchanting, making it a must-see. Don’t miss this unforgettable theatrical experience.

Beauty and the Beast will be showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre for a limited time with tickets on sale through December 29. For more information and to book tickets, visit: beautyandthebeast.com.au

Written by: Michael Kent