The play might be based on a children’s movie, but it definitely is a show for adults. From second one, the cast captures the audience with a straight forward parody of a well-known Disney classic. Prepare for a night full of sexual jokes, feminism and the long-awaited inclusion of dynamic female characters in a classic story.
The plot sticks closely to the Disney movie, so the story will not come as a surprise – a fact that the cast brings up happily with their song lyrics “a story you heard before” (a.k.a. tale as old as time). However, while the scenes follow the classic plot, each dialogue is unique and keeps the play exciting – even though we all know how it ends, the cast keeps the audience on their toes about what is going to happen next. The 90-minute show passes like the blink of an eye, as there are no scenes that feel like they are dragging.
All the costumes are designed with a lot of love for detail. Vibrant colours and frilly, yet clear cuts, highlight each character’s individuality while staying within the uniform style of an eighteenth century French village. The costumes do not mimic the original Disney movie, which gives the re-invention of the classic tale its own special touch.
The gender bender runs through the whole cast – even the magic interior gets a sex switch, where Mrs. Potts turns into Mr. Spout, etc. With a clever use of props and masks, the ensemble (Aaron Dart, Allie Munro and Katie Wells) impersonates the anthropomorphic interior brilliantly.
Last but not least, the songs are amazing. The lyrics are pure comedy and the cast delivers them in a way that doesn’t leave much room for improvement. Especially Robyn Grant as the Beast impresses with her voice. It is full-bodied and hits all the right notes.
The play was devised by the company themselves, and the good teamwork shows on stage. This is a play one shouldn’t miss! An entertaining night full of laughter is guaranteed.
- By Robyn Grant and Daniel Elliot
- Director: Fat Rascal Theatre
- Cast: Jamie Mawson, Robyn Grant, Aaron Dart, Allie Munro, Katie Wells
- King’s Head Theatre, London
- Until 6 January, 2018
- Review by Vera Mikusch
- 15 December 2017
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