A tale as old as time and told in many ways, Beauty and the Beast is the ultimate love story. The Birmingham Royal Ballet undertake this iconic story in their latest production currently visiting the Bristol Hippodrome.
In their adaptation, director David Bintley has taken a Gothic styling, fitting really for the premise and period for which it’s set. Every detail has been meticulously planned to collate a striking, ornate, beautiful and mesmerising performance.
The narrative, conjured in 2003 by David and the creative team at Birmingham Royal Ballet, sways some what from the story you’ll likely be familiar with, though the essence is the same. In fact, for me, it is those differences that sets this production apart.
David will actually be leaving the company soon, so it is a rare opportunity to see a creative creation by an existing director. Something that occurs so infrequently in a lifetime.
Of course, no production would be what it was without it’s ensemble to retell the tale. They had us laughing, as the ridiculous Cochon (James Barton) buffoons his way through the story flirting outrageously with Belle’s sisters and added the much needed comic relief to the intense and romantic chemistry between Belle and the Beast.
This is a very different story to the Disney fairytale you’re probably used to, but told in an equally beautiful and expressive way. Despite the major differences in plot, the casts overall and expressive performances ensured this ballet is accessible even for those who aren’t regulars at this type of theater and the fabulous music, led by conductor Philip Ellis helps add to the atmosphere and sets both the physical and emotional tone perfectly.
This is a superb ballet with Delia Matthews as Belle leading the way as you would expect of a fairytale heroine and supported wonderfully by Tyrone Singleton who was both the handsome and charming prince but an equally intimidating and wounded beast overall creating a magical but slightly darker journey theater goers will enjoy.
Beauty and the Beast will be at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 4th May. You can get your tickets direct from ATG or by calling the box office.