The Lowry, Salford – until 23rd March 2019.
Reviewed by Sarah Cockerill
The enchanting masterpiece that is Beauty and the Beast was welcomed by the audience at The Lowry, Salford this week. Whilst there’s no denying that the movie adaptations of Beauty and the Beast are magical, this spellbinding adaptation by Birmingham Royal Ballet was so entrancing it hooked us all – children and adults alike.
Yvette Knight’s performance as Belle was enough in itself to hypnotise the audience into a trance and it was impossible not to be always drawn to her when she took to the stage. When she opened the show in postcard-worthy freeze frame I couldn’t be 100% sure that she was a three-dimensional human being. Her performance throughout can only be described as utterly stunning.
The candelabra may not have been all singing and dancing, but the magic was still there, leaving the audience with that same feeling of fascination and joy that was felt as a child watching a Disney film which made this show all the better. I didn’t feel like I was watching a show for children, I was watching a world-class masterpiece that could be enjoyed by all.
The intricate detail in the set and costumes added to the magic. The Beast’s look was more feline than monstrous, but his grotesque mask meant his presence on stage was a chilling experience for the audience, a stark contrast to the presence of Belle.
The man behind the mask, Brandon Lawrence, was perfect for the role, and the chemistry between Lawrence and Knight was completely captivating. Their dances could have gone on all night and I wouldn’t have been able to keep my eyes off them.
Accompanying the cast was the live orchestra which was a glorious treat that plucked at the heartstrings at precisely the right moments during the show. The music of Glenn Buhr perfectly complemented the choreography of David Bintley, a collaboration I would be delighted to witness again.
Whilst this wasn’t the first production I’d seen from Birmingham Royal Ballet, it most certainly won’t be the last either.
Catch Beauty and The Beast at The Lowry, Salford until Saturday 23rd March.