New College Performing Arts Department have been working on their annual Christmas production. This year they are staging a new adaptation of ‘Beauty & the Beast’.
The story revolves around a young prince, turned into a vicious ‘Beast’ by a wicked Queen, who has overthrown his father’s kingdom, and exiled to a Dark Forest. A poor merchant (another victim of the Wicked Queen) finds himself abandoned at the Beast’s castle and when he tries to take a magical rose for his youngest daughter Belle, he is caught by the Beast and made to agree to an exchange that will affect all their lives.
This version calls on many elements from the original 1740 French Folk Story that other, more recent interpretations, have missed.
New College lecturer, Matthew Clift has written the adaptation and is directing the production:
“Many people will be aware of the story of ‘Beauty & the Beast’ mainly through the Oscar winning animated film. Whilst there is a large chunk of that story still intact, there are so many interesting characters and storylines that have been lost in the many retellings of the legend. We have tried to give the production the feel of an action-adventure with a fast plot, choreographed fight scenes as well as the more traditional romance aspect shown through song and dance. This version isn’t a ‘pantomime’ but will still give audiences young and old alike the opportunity to become involved!”
The cast is made up of students on the BTEC Performing Arts courses and includes first year students Jamie Carter and Kayleigh Elbrow as the two leads of Belle and the Beast. Second year performing arts student Shannon Glover stars as the Wicked Queen along with her fellow classmates Oliver Jackson as the King and Bradley Atkinson as the Merchant.
‘Beauty & the Beast’ will be performed at New College’s Phoenix Theatre from Tuesday 11 December through to Friday 14 December 2012. Performances begin at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 and just £1 for ages 12 and under. Tickets are available from the Performing Arts Department on (01793) 732815 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org