Review: A beauty to behold

PUBLISHED: 14:53 02 May 2019

Delia Mathews as Belle and Tyrone Singleton as the Beast in Beauty And The Beast. Picture: Bill Cooper

Delia Mathews as Belle and Tyrone Singleton as the Beast in Beauty And The Beast. Picture: Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper

One of the most well-known love stories was brought to life in a mesmerising show at the Bristol Hippodrome last night (Wednesday).

Birmingham Royal Ballet's performance of Beauty And The Beast stirred up a mix of emotions as the graceful dancers retold the classic fairytale.

David Bintley's Gothic ballet is a slightly darker version of the colourful and romantic story portrayed in Disney books and films, but it is no less captivating.

In the opening scene, we see the Prince cursed for leading a fox hunt through the woods.

He is transformed into a 'terrible Beast' and forced to live in a castle with the animals he callously hunted.

The curse will only be lifted if he wins the heart of a beautiful girl.

When Belle's father is caught stealing a rose, the Beast demands he send his youngest daughter to the castle.

Desperate to save her father from the Beast's wrath, Belle agrees to the demands.

The close relationship between Belle (Delia Mathews) and her father (Michael O'Hare) is plain to see and Belle is distraught when she is separated from her beloved dad.

While the first act is dark and brooding, the second half of the show is filled hope and light as the Belle and the Beast (Tyrone Singleton) grow increasingly fond of each other.

Every night for months, the Beast proposes to Belle and she turns him down.

When she shuns his proposal at an extravagant ball, the Beast flies into a rage.

The Beast's angry dance is one of the highlights of the show as he beats his chest and acts out his frustration at the prospect of living forever as a cursed animal.

Delia is fantastic as Belle – dancing with grace and finesse and winning over the Beast with her kind and gentle nature.

The dancing is beautiful – expressing the fierce emotions felt by the main characters.

The ballet is not without laughs – courtesy of Grandmere (Marion Tait) and at the expense of the pig-nosed Monsieur Cochon (James Barton) and Belle's sisters (Laura Purkiss and Samara Downs).

The haunting music is performed by the supremely talented Royal Ballet Sinfonia and the set changes are flawless – moving from Beast's fantastical castle to the smoky woods and homely village.

If you are a fan of ballet, I would highly recommend booking up for this show.

Packed with magic, romance, elegant dancing and stirring music – it is a beauty to behold.

The Birmingham Royal Ballet's Beauty And The Beast will be at the Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade, from today (Thursday) until Saturday.

Tickets, priced £13.90-47.40, are available from www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome or from 08448 717627.

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