Beauty and the Beast

The Disney favourite is in town for two weeks, making a strong start to the theatre's autumn line-up. It's a big, bold and brassy production with enough costumes and scene changes to please lovers of old-fashioned spectacle.

NorwichTheatre Royal

The Disney favourite is in town for two weeks, making a strong start to the theatre's autumn line-up. It's a big, bold and brassy production with enough costumes and scene changes to please lovers of old-fashioned spectacle.

It remains faithful to the characters and storyline so you have a rather weak start before the action at the beast's castle begins and it does descend into panto mode at times. For my money, there are not that many great numbers apart from the classic Beauty and the Beast, and everything ends well, with a big snog, as the beast learns to love others and himself.

The beast is played with great vigour by 6ft 6ins Nic Greenshields, who does well underneath all that make-up and the vain Gaston (Michael Quinn), is a wonderful Elvis tribute act, while Scot Jo Gibb is a very believable Belle. Others who should be mentioned are Sergio Prifitis as a love-struck candelabra, Lumiere, and Tania Newton as Mrs Potts, a kindly teapot.


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And Norwich youngster Leon Culot, aged eight, appeared as a cheeky teacup called Chip and got plenty of "oohs" and "ahs" from the audience.

Whether the show is suitable for the under-fives is debatable. It's scary in parts, with plenty of loud bangs and bright lights, so parents be warned.

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