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Review of Beauty and the Beast by Northern Ballet at Norwich Theatre Royal: Classic fairytale is delicious pre-Christmas treat





Beauty and the Beast – Theatre Royal, Norwich

Northern Ballet offers us this delicious pre-Christmas treat which is just right for all ages.

It tells that classic fairytale, of good versus evil, with the vain Prince Orian (Jonathan Hanks) being transformed into a terrifying beast, destined for a lonely existence.

Dreda Blow as Beauty and Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dreda Blow as Beauty and Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dominique Larose, Dreda Blow, Rachael Gillespie and Mlindi Kulashe in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dominique Larose, Dreda Blow, Rachael Gillespie and Mlindi Kulashe in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Northern Ballet dancers in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Northern Ballet dancers in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar

It takes the kind and gentle Beauty (Dominique Larose) to break the spell and offer him a happy ever after.

The production is a revival of the original David Nixon ballet which was last performed in 2016, yet remains fresh and exciting.

Attention is all on the dancing with minimal staging, and there are some beautiful set pieces, especially between Beauty and the Beast (Kevin Poeung).

Giuliano Contadini as the Prince and Dreda Blow as Beauty in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Giuliano Contadini as the Prince and Dreda Blow as Beauty in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dreda Blow as Beauty in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dreda Blow as Beauty in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dreda Blow as Beauty and Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Dreda Blow as Beauty and Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar

Mention must go to the comic moments, too, with Beauty’s two sisters portrayed as a greedy, silly pair, and I enjoyed the Beast’s goblins and their intricate dance steps as they sashayed round their temperamental boss.

The production also benefits from live music (Debussy and Bizet) provided by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia which is, apparently, under threat.

For my money, a live orchestra is an integral part of a trip to the ballet and it would be a real shame to see this go.

But this show is another triumph for one of the country’s best-loved dance companies who are faithful supporters of Norwich Theatre Royal - they return in the spring with Romeo and Juliet.

Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Ashley Dixon as the Beast in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Northern Ballet dancers in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar
Northern Ballet dancers in Beauty & the Beast. Picture: Emma Kauldhar

The show continues until Saturday. Visit www.norwichtheatre.org

Review by Sarah Hardy



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