Beauty And The Beast At The Old Rep

This year’s seasonal offering at Birmingham’s Old Rep Theatre is a new twist on an old classic. Beauty and the Beast is a much loved story that has been ‘Disneyfied’ in recent years, but now the BOA Academy have twisted it once again, combining the classic fairy tale with modern day issues that centre on belonging, peer pressure and the perils of social media. This has created a fantastic show that appeals to all ages, and is wonderfully performed by its young, talented cast.

In our modern times a group of ‘mean girls’ rule the school society with a nasty fist. Their main victims are those that don’t fit in – Izzy, Theo and Roland. A kindly French teacher, Madame Villeneuve, tries to show them that outward beauty is nowhere near as important as inner beauty by showing them the story of La Belle et La Bete aka Beauty and the beast, a story that the audience then follows too.

The young cast is exceptional, with bags of talent and enthusiasm that is totally in tune with the audience. Cameron Dews and Mabel Edwards make a wonderful Belle and the Beast, with real chemistry between them and moments of lovely pathos. Max Coleman as Avenant is absolutely brilliant, playing the part like Justin Beiber attempting panto, with so many moments of unknowing self deprecation that has the audience laughing. Freya Hancox as Madame Villeneuve works so well as the narrator, and has an incredible vocal range that makes the spine tingle, whilst Luca-James Tweddle and Molly Russell as Bougeoir and Plumeau (aka Candlestick and feather duster) as hilarious scene stealers as the love that cannot be.

The musical numbers are wonderfully staged and well performed by the whole cast, with the fight scene when Belle’s sisters and Avenant storm the Beast’s castle particularly effective. The ending is also satisfying for its message, especially to the younger members of the audience.

Beauty and the Beast is a lovely, entertaining show full of magic. Go and see.


Start: Friday 18 November 2022
End: Friday 16 December 2022
Click here for ticket information


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