Beauty and the Beast by Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome - review with pictures
There's something magical about heading off to the theatre to see the ballet.
But a performance of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast was simply something else.
The dancers, taking to the stage at Birmingham Hippodrome yesterday for opening night, absolutely stunned with their take on the classic fairy-tale - it was elegant, beautiful, and masterful.
A popular, almost universally known, story Beauty and the Beast sees a cruel prince, cursed to spend the rest of his life living in a castle with the animals he callously hunted, find salvation in the heart of a beautiful young girl.
Caught stealing a single rose, Belle’s desperate father exchanges his youngest daughter’s freedom for his own life.
But in his isolated castle the Beast, stripped of his handsome features, must win her heart, or spend the rest of his life in bitter solitude.
Now, I feel like I ought to be honest - I haven’t been to the ballet many times before. My one and only other experience was a trip to Bristol Hippodrome to see Coppelia, when I was a child.
So I thought, 20 plus years on, let’s revisit the beauty of the ballet. Would I be able to appreciate such a fine art a little more?
I realised it would be nothing like the classic Disney cartoon, or the much-loved live action remake starring Emma Watson.
Belle doesn’t appear in her famous yellow ball gown, a candlestick doesn’t burst into a chaotic rendition of Be Our Guest, and there are no magic wardrobes - although there is an enchanted chair.
Instead, the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s version of Beauty and the Beast is far darker, deeper and more magical than any other take on the story you may have seen before.
The choreography by David Bintley was simply breathtaking, the music by Glenn Buhr was something we exclaimed about on the way out of the theatre following the show.
The tortured, and often terrifying, relationship between the Beast, played by Tyrone Singleton, and Belle, played by Delia Mathews. was one you couldn’t take your eyes off - the way they danced together was like nothing I had ever seen before.
It was a performance you could get lost in, just as Belle became lost in her story books.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast is at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday, March 2.