REVIEW | Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Dazzles at Her Majesty’s Theatre

Reviewed by Heloise Cram

Attending Disney’s new production of Beauty and the Beast at Her Majesty’s Theatre was an absolute delight, showcasing exceptional talent and meticulous preparation. This fresh production, almost three decades since its original Australian premiere, features a stellar cast and a reimagined take on the much-loved classic tale.

The cast was fabulous, bringing the characters to life with energy and enthusiasm. Shubshri Kandiah as Belle and Brendan Xavier as Beast delivered standout performances, while Melbourne locals Rohan Browne and Gareth Jacobs brought charisma to Lumiere and Cogsworth. The chemistry among the actors was palpable, adding depth to their interactions and making the story all the more engaging. The choreography, directed by Olivier Award nominee Matt West, was wonderful, with each dance number executed flawlessly, adding an extra layer of excitement to the overall performance.

The orchestra provided a rich and dynamic musical backdrop that perfectly complemented the on-stage action. The live music, with original compositions by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice, added an extra dimension to the show, elevating the overall experience for the audience. The sets, transported by 23 x 8-tonne trucks and taking a team of 70 over 15,000 hours to load in, were fantastic and cleverly designed, creating an immersive environment that transported the audience into the world of the musical. The attention to detail in the set design was impressive, with 30 tonnes of flying scenery and 50 tonnes of automation and staging recreating the French provincial town.

Clever transitions and special effects, including Lumiere’s real flames and Mrs. Potts’ smoking spout, showcased the technical prowess of the production team. These elements were seamlessly woven into the show, enhancing the visual spectacle without overshadowing the performers. The costumes were amazing, with Belle’s yellow ball gown inspired by Elizabeth II’s coronation dress, and each wig taking 14 people 40 hours to hand-knot individual hairs.

The musical was peppered with funny moments that had the audience laughing out loud, with Rubin Matters’s Gaston and Nick Cox’s Le Fou delivering particularly memorable performances. The humor was well-timed and cleverly integrated into the storyline, adding a light-hearted touch that balanced the more dramatic elements of the show. The show-stopping production number ‘Be Our Guest’ included a spectacular tap finale featuring Lumiere, Belle, and all of the enchanted objects of the castle, illuminated by over 2,400 different lights, making it a highlight of the evening.

Beauty and the Beast is a must-see production that combines stellar performances, stunning sets, and expert technical execution. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, making for an unforgettable theater experience. Tickets are on sale now for performances until November 24, 2024, with new performances available from July 4, 2024, exclusively via

This production is not only a tribute to the original 1995 Australian premiere, which starred Rachael Beck, Michael Cormick, and Hugh Jackman, but also a reinvigorated masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this extraordinary journey.

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