Expect dancing plates and flatware, forest spirits, and singing furniture filling the stage in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior at the Gaiety Theatre next week.
JT Productions’ young cast and crew have been in rehearsals since May, and will stage the fruit of their labours on a theatre run between Tuesday and Saturday (September 24/28). Both a classic for the kids and a heart-warming musical the whole family will love, the fairytale show follows very different people finding strength in one another and learning how to love.
The story begins with a prince being transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his cruel and selfish ways. Meanwhile, the brainy and beautiful Belle yearns to escape her provincial life and her brute of a suitor, Gaston.
However, Belle gets more adventure than she bargained for when she is imprisoned in the Beast’s enchanted castle. In order to become human again, the Beast must earn Belle’s love before it’s too late.
This junior version of the production is designed for younger casts, it’s shorter and the script has been tweaked for younger actors.
All parts are performed by actors ranging from the ages of six to 18, with a total of more than 100 either performing as a member of the cast or assisting as backstage crew.
Familiar scenes, such as the opening number when Belle is walking through town while reading a book, and well-known songs, including Be Our Guest, are included in the production.
It will be a showcase of some familiar faces from the island’s talented youth, such as Georgia Maddocks who plays the part of Belle. Having won Manx Stars in Their Eyes in 2009 and involved in productions since the age of six, Georgia is well-suited to the magic of Disney, with the quality of her acting and singing.
Other members of the cast include Ben Karran as Gaston – Belle’s boorish suitor who loves flexing his muscles especially to the Silly Girls. Ben is no stranger to the stage having previously performed as Gavroch in DCU’s Les Misérables, Oliver, CATS and last year as Rooster in JT Productions’ Annie Jr.
Juan Riordan (Daddy Warbucks in Annie Jr last year) is back in a very different role as the flamboyant Lumiere, a man turned into a candlestick.
Alice Quayle (winner of 2013 Manx Guild – Junior Songs from the Musicals) has her first lead role, as Mrs Potts, singing the well known song Beauty and the Beast.
Alexandra Slater (winner of 2012 Manx Stars in Your Eyes) is Madam de la Grande Bouche, the wardrobe, and is tipped to bring a touch operatic sparkle.
The show’s producers said that with lots more familiar and new faces, the junior production ‘provides the opportunity for our very talented youth to flex their wings and enjoy the challenge of performing complex and unique characters. The audience will not be disappointed with the quality of singing, dancing, acting, costumes and sets.
‘Come along and you will be transported into a world of fantasy and romance that is sure to leave a smile on your face.’ The audience will also have chance to meet members of the cast after the shows.
Get tickets from the Welcome Centre in Douglas, the Villa Marina box office, visit villagaiety.com or call 600555.