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Norwich Puppet Theatre gives Beauty and the Beast a movie makeover

PUBLISHED: 16:13 04 December 2014 | UPDATED: 14:31 07 January 2015

A classic fairy tale is being given a movie makeover at Norwich Puppet Theatre this Christmas.

In a unique twist on a children’s classic, the theatre has set Beauty and the Beast in the 1920s and 30s film era.

The story begins in the desert where the young heroine Belle is panning for gold with her frugal father before she is discovered by a greedy film producer who plucks her from a life of poverty with promises of fame and fortune in the movies.

Gavin Glover, the show’s director, said: “Despite Beauty and the Beast being such a great tale we felt we didn’t really want to rehash it again in the same old way.

“So whilst researching other versions we realised that King Kong the movie, first shown in 1933, is adapted from the story and that many of those other early movies are based on well known tales. We set about writing furiously not to recreate King Kong but to move the story into that period where the world was quickly changing.”

The show is aimed at people of all ages and it combines the use of traditional puppets with physical performance, film and an original musical score by composer Hannah Marshall.

It also pays tribute the history of the theatre - which is celebrating its 35th year - by using the venue’s special marionette bridge that has not been used for 20 years.

Joy Haynes, director of Norwich Puppet Theatre said “The production uses our unique theatre space and marionette bridge, celebrating the history and distinctiveness of our building and introducing audiences to a traditional art-form within a new and dynamic context.”

• Beauty and the Beast is at Norwich Puppet Theatre from December 20 to January 17. For more information and to book tickets visit www.puppettheatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 629921.

• Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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