Stanton Wright plays The Beast in a new version of Beauty and the Beast by Ciaran McConville, with music and lyrics by Eamonn O’Dwyer, opening at Rose Theatre from 3 December.
Stanton’s previous credits include: The Kite Runner (UK Tour), Pictures of Dorian Gray (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) and All or Nothing (West End & UK Tour).
The production also features a young company comprised of Rose Youth Theatre members, Rose Youth Theatre is one of the largest youth theatres in the country, offering over 1,000 participants training, careers advice and the opportunity to take part in productions alongside professionals. Tickets are on sale here.
You’re starring as The Beast in Rose Theatre’s Beauty and The Beast this Christmas, what can you tell us about the show?
Being a new version of the original story, it has some really exciting new elements that I think the audience will love. For example, the story is told through the eyes of 3 siblings in the present day, who are having to face a new chapter in their lives, so it looks at the challenges that presents. Through telling the story they learn more about themselves and grow more courageous.
What is it about this new version by Ciaran McConville that you think will appeal to audiences the most?
This new version by Ciaran has a much more modern take on Bella’s story. She’s an intelligent young woman who proudly smashes through some of the traditional fairytale tropes and I think audiences will love that!
What are you looking forward to most about playing The Beast, and how are you preparing for the role?
One thing I love about the beast in this story is the incredible costume design. The designers’ influences have come from some slightly more unusual elements of the story that people might not be used to, and the result is really exciting. In rehearsals we’ve worked a lot on the movement and voice of the beast, and we’ve taken a lot of influence from certain animals, so it’s a good excuse to watch lots of David Attenborough documentaries!
And what’s going to be the biggest challenge for you in playing The Beast?
I’d say the biggest challenge is keeping myself vocally safe throughout the run of the show. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of roaring involved, so to keep that sounding truthful but technically safe will be a challenge. Thankfully we have a great team of creatives to help us with that!
The cast is completed by a young company comprised of Rose Youth Theatre members, how have you been enjoying rehearsals with them, and what have you learned from working with the young company?
The young company have been incredible to work with! They bring so much energy to the rehearsal room and come up with some very clever ideas that make us older cast members fear for our jobs slightly. They are a really talented and lovely group and I can’t wait to be on stage with them in front of an audience!
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Beauty and The Beast?
I’d say that if you’re looking for something this Christmas that’s charming, inspiring, funny and is sure to make you shed a tear or two then look no further! It’s also been a very tough 12+ months for everyone and with Theatres being closed last Christmas I don’t think you need any better excuse to come and join us. It’s going to be just pure magic!