Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Beauty and The Beast Congress Theatre Eastbourne Ashley Oliver

Beauty And The Beast
Congress Theatre Eastbourne

8th-13th June 2009
Performance seen
Tuesday, June 9th

Beauty and the Beast starring Ashley Oliver
Beast Shaun Dalton
Belle Ashley Oliver
Gaston Ben Harlow
Mrs Potts Marnie Baumer
Cogsworth Ashley Knight
Lumiere Phil Barley
Maurice Richard Colson
Madame De La
Grande Bouche
Laura Barrie
Lefou Eddie Dredge
Babette Sophia Thierens
Chip Played by local children
Swing Andrew Margerison
Monsieur D'Arque,
Milliner, Corkscrew
Daniel Page
Baker, Cake Slice, Mob Benjamin Beechey
Egg Man, Salt Pot, Mob,
Posh Courtier, Wolf
James Farrar
Candle Man, Gargoyle, Knife,
Posh Courtier
Daniel Oliver
Young Prince, Shepherd Boy,
Carpet, Wolf
Chris Gage
Fish Seller, Pepper Pot, Mob,
Posh Courtier
Darren De Biasi
Book Seller, Sifterspoon James Bisp
Cheese Grater,
Bacon Boy, Mob
David Allwood
Small Silly Girl,
Napkin, Spoon,
Posh Courtier
Lucy Harrison
Middle Silly Girl,
Plate, Napkin,
Posh Courtier
Kerry Stammers
Tall Silly Girl,
Plate, Napkin
Hayley Reed
Aristocratic Lady,
Sugar Bowl, Mob
Ellie Leah
Flower Seller,
Toast Rack, Mob
Laura Clements
Enchantress, Milk Maid,
Napkin, Fork, Wolf, Mob
Vicki Davids
Lady With Baby,
Egg Timer, Mob
Sarah Cahalarn
Orange Seller, Plate,
Napkin, Wolf,
Posh Courtier
Nicola West
Swing Sarah Louise Day

Disney's Beauty And The Beast is a musical that has managed to escape us over the years. Storyline wise we didn't know what to expect although in true Disney style a happy ending is normally a foregone conclusion.

I was also a little wary at the start of this production that this may be a musical that may appeal mainly to children......... and I was right............. children from 9 to 90!!

It's a bonus if you get to see one high class musical a year at Eastbourne. Yet within just a matter of weeks we have had the pleasure of seeing two.

The hugely talented Ashley Oliver has the honour of taking on the lead role of Belle.

She delivered an amazing performance. Vocally she is flawless but Belle's character suits her down to the ground in so many other ways too.

Ashley Oliver superb in the lead role as Belle in Beauty and The Beast by UK ProductionsBeing a relatively petite 5' 2" and blessed with beautiful big blue eyes Ashley really has the natural Disney heroine look about her - just add the impressive singing and acting and you have the perfect lead role package.

There is more to this musical than a wonderful leading lady though. It's a large cast and they all deliver a superbly entertaining show.

Beauty and The Beast may underneath the bonnet be a love story but it is blessed with colouful characters, super effects and continuous comedy.

There really is so much humour but I really have a soft spot for the characters of Gaston, Lumiere, Cogsworth and Lefou.

I feel I should also mention the character of Chip which on this tour is played by a child local to the venue. I don't know what the young man's name is who played at Eastbourne but I have to say he was very confident. It must be nerve wracking having to deliver many lines in the company of seasoned West End Stars but those not familiar with the casting would never have known he was not part of the touring cast.

It takes a very good show at Eastbourne theatres to be rewarded with a full standing ovation. Over the last few years we have seen very few. Yet like with Dreamboats and Petticoats the cast of Beauty And The Beast achieved this accolade from the very discerning audience and well deserved it was too.

This is a very impressive production by UK Productions and if this standard is anything to go by Singing In The Rain should be a show to look forward to as it is by the same company.

There are many dates remaining on the tour so if you are in two minds about going why not book up and enjoy a good night out - I'd thoroughly recommend this show.
5 out of 5 for Beauty And The Beast 2009 Print This Entry

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