Disney’s Beauty and the Beast today releases exclusive photographs and a video from rehearsals for the re-imagined and re-designed new production.
Beauty and the Beast will open a UK & Ireland Tour at The Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday 25 August 2021.
Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo will play the iconic lead roles, Belle and her Beast, as spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, bringing the beloved tale to new life. Courtney’s credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Six, Les Misérables and Bat Out of Hell, and Emmanuel is best known for performing in Oklahoma!, Girl from the North Country, Show Boat and The Scottsboro Boys.
Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables) is Lumiere and Tom Senior (The Pirates of Penzance, Eugenius!) will be Gaston.
Sam Bailey (The X-Factor winner 2013, Blood Brothers) will play the legendary role of Mrs Potts, with Nigel Richards (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Cogsworth.
Martin Ball (Les Misérables, Wicked, Top Hat) will take the role of Maurice, Samantha Bingley (Martha In The Secret Garden) will be Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey (Curtains, 42nd Street, Funny Girl) will be Babette and Louis Stockil (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!) will play Le Fou.
The full company is completed with Jake Bishop, Pamela Blair, Liam Buckland, Jasmine Davis, Autumn Draper, Daisy Edwards, Alyn Hawke, George Hinson, Jennifer Louise Jones, Brontë Lavine, Thomas- Lee Kidd, David McIntosh, Aimee Moore, Sam Murphy, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Emily Squibb, Grace Swaby, India Thornton and Rhys West.
Spectacularly reimagined in startling new designs which will use the latest theatrical innovations, this timeless romantic tale will be brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast. Among the many new features of this 2021 Beauty and the Beast is an exuberant tap dance within the legendary production number Be Our Guest, created expressly for Gavin Lee, recognised as one of the great tappers on either side of the Atlantic.
Olivier Award nominee Matt West will direct and choreograph this new production, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, bookwriter Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz. The team collectively received five Tony® nominations and a win for Hould-Ward’s costume design, when Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 26 years ago.
This new Beauty, while retaining the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony®-nominated score – which brought classics including Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Change in Me, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter – will be heard afresh with new dance arrangements by David Chase, allowing original choreographer Matt West to re-visit his work. Longtime Menken collaborators Michael Kosarin and Danny Troob are musical supervisor/vocal arranger and orchestrator, respectively.
Completing the design team, Tony®-winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production. Casting for the production is by Pippa Ailion Casting.
Performances will begin in Bristol on Wednesday 25 August, with other engagements also confirmed for Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin with more venues to be announced in due course. All tour dates and information at www.beautyandthebeastmusical.co.uk