Presented by TB Arts (aka Theatre Bugs)
Reviewed 22 September 2017
Tale as old as time, and one that’s perfect for the whole family! Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr is the classic Disney story of forbidden love, and TB Arts have done a fine job presenting it. The cast of talented young performers was having a great time on stage and the audience was clearly enjoying it also.
Producer Joni Combe and General Manager Michael Eustice have worked well together with this production, along with a team of four under the title of Director/Choreographer: Michelle Davy, Laura Brook, Mitchell Smith and Zak Vasiliou. This team has come together to ensure this production has run smoothly. Opening night jitters didn’t seem to affect many of the performers, only a few minor hiccups from the technical side.
Lighting effects used were simple but delivered well, and Chris Golding is to credit here with sound from Candace Blom. The lead performers were using mics but many of the ensemble lines were lost because of the lack of mics. The set was minimal as projections were used instead to highlight each scene, with projection design from Warwick Smith. Due to the lack of set/props, and some slow transitions from scene to scene, there were a few quiet moments of a dark stage before the Narrator (Chloe Saint) would break the silence.
Belle was portrayed perfectly by Olivia Giameos, who had both the sweet nature and charm for this character that every young girl in the audience would aspire to. Giameos also had a wonderful voice, highlighted in Something There. Tristen Farrow transitioned from the grumpy Beast to caring Prince smoothly; his deep booming voice frightening some younger audience members in the beginning so he was certainly doing his job. Giameos and Farrow had chemistry as well and worked very well together.
Alexander Aarao-Ward and Oliver John bounced off each other perfectly as the duo of Cogsworth and Lumiere. John’s accent and comic timing was spot on, and Aarao-Ward made sure Cogsworth had a sweet and caring nature. Jeremy Thomas gave Gaston every bit of confidence the role needed, and his sidekick Lefou was there to compliment him in the musical number Gaston. Dyana Bouwmesster-Jones, as Lefou, was both charming and cheeky, proving that you can make the most of smaller roles. This is a role normally played by a male, but this did not phase her and she suited it perfectly.
It’s hard not to enjoy a production of such a loved tale like this, and the creative team behind Theatre Bugs in conjunction with this very talented cast has made for one very enjoyable night.
*Disclaimer: This performance was by the ‘Spellbound’ Cast.
Reviewed by Daniel Knowles
Venue: The Parks Theatre, Angle Park
Season: 22 September – 24 September 2017
Tickets: $19 Concession/$25 Adults