This past weekend, November 10 and 11 2017, Braidwood Central School welcomed audiences eager to experience this year’s 9/10 Drama Student Showcase of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
The modern adaptation, developed by the students, maintained much of the story we all know and love, but left me wondering how beastly a Beast should be in modern times.
A few fun dance scenes and a killer soundtrack, kept the story moving, and as expected this years school musical identified more than a few performers who merit a mention.
The narrative portrays a somber and reflective, less domineering Beast. Perhaps a deliberate reflection on current world affairs, but whatever the impetus this new and improved character was played with elegant refrain by Aneka Jones.
Familiar characters dominated this adaptation with Lucy Baumann-Lionet’s Lumiere, repeatedly bringing cheers from the audience.
Despite her brief appearance Mrytle Wild was delightful as Chip and Tashani Davidson-Fuller played an exuberant Wardrobe.
The dulcet tones of Drew Tisdell both solo and in duo with LeFou were almost enough to neutralise the effect of his character, the ghastly Gaston.
The musical numbers performed with class 2/3S were the obvious crowd pleasers, from the Beauty and the Beast classic ‘Be Our Guest’, to ‘Hungry Like a Wolf’, the audience was mesmerised, finally breaking loose in the aisles during the full cast and chorus Finale staged to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’.
Scene blocking, choreography and use of space outside the stage, enhanced by atmospheric and lighting effects, showcased the growth in stage craft within the student troupe this year.
The sound and lighting team, art department and backstage crews, should all be commended for their particular effort.
The Braidwood Central School Concert Band enlivened the production and occasion with live music performed by a trimmed-down 20-piece ensemble.