Whilst not everyone’s cup of tea I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed last night. It was intriguing to see how they would adapt the West End sized stage show for the relatively small King’s Theatre, but I have to say that bar some little glitches here and there, they pulled it off. Of course having seen the show before we knew what to expect but it was a different cast and a much different and lighter feel. The Beast was much more comically played, as was Gaston, but it suited the audience well as it was mainly comprised of kids. Vocally the songs become much more powerful than they are in the movie, with the Beasts character the most impressive (the “plate” can-can dancers in their stockings and bras were quite impressive too, certainly don’t recall them in the movie) but all the performers were more than capable, again the smaller stage of the King’s Theatre bringing both it’s own challenges and some advantages to the performers. On the whole, if you liked the Disney movie, you’ll love this show.
However – and I hate to spoil this with a moan – to the teachers of the primary school who sat in the two rows behind us, what were you thinking? Crisps?!! Why, in the name of Chip did you give them CRISPS!! The first twenty minutes were almost drowned out by a cacophony of rustling and crunching and munching. I’m sure the little dears could’ve lasted until the interval and if any of them feel in any way shape or form, traumatised by my shushing and glaring then tough!
The last time I was in the King’s Theatre was to see Bottom about 10 years ago, unfortunately I think that was the last time the theatre had any form of restoration work done on it as it was in a sad state of repair, which is a shame because it really is a wonderful old building, inside and out (see this shoddy photo from my mobile for an example of the interior). And of course being an old building it lacks certain things like air conditioning, or the ability to get fresh air into the auditorium, which on a balmy evening in Glasgow makes for a few hundred very hot and sweaty individuals, it was such a relief to get out in the FRESH air, if you know what I mean.