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  • Writer's pictureJessica Taylor Yates

Guide to Disney's Beauty and the Beast musical in Melbourne

Millennial childhoods come to life in the stage spectacle celebrating love, friendship, and a sprinkle of Stockholm Syndrome.

Full cast on stage for Beauty and the Beast

  • TL; DR: Confusing their toddlers, millennials will cry tears of joy watching their childhood VHS come to life in this Disney musical spectacular.

  • Just give me the show info.


Look.


I'll be the first to say that certain plotlines in Disney's famed Beauty and the Beast are a tad... as the chorus would sing in Belle's provincial town... problématique.


However, if you can cast aside the fact that a young woman falls in love with a beast after he imprisons her in his home (l mean, being locked up in Covid affected us all differently, we get that now) then step on up to enjoy a Tale As Old As Time.


Heading to opening night as reviewerrrrrs (ooh la la!) we mixed with a sea of influencers and TV celebrities (Paul Robinson, I see you) for the show’s Melbourne premiere. Well, mixed might be a strong word. We apparently weren't yet VIP enough to walk the red carpet (much to my and my discount Zara beanie’s dismay), and were promptly escorted out of the Disney-sponsored members lounge serving croquettes and petit fours.


But hey, this didn't matter, as before the show had even begun (aside from the one we had given the crowd by accident) we were treated to a dazzling pre-show of themed costumes and couture (making me curse my lack of pre-purchasing a yellow gown and/or beast horns from Shein).


Failed attempts to become influencers aside, amongst a sea of more filler and collagen than a Kardashian Khristmas Kard, we settled into (A list, stall, ahem) seats at Her Majesty's Theatre. Considering its cosy vibes, it seemed you’d have pretty good viewing from all angles (well, except straight ahead, because of some Gen Z TiK-ToKker’s towering man bun in front of me, but I digress). I mean, I assume you’d have a good view elsewhere in cattle class. It was great from where we could rattle our jewellery, and that’s what’s most important.


As the show commenced, I started to panic internally, and not because I forgot to get a choc top before the opening number. This musical hadn't been in Melbourne for almost 30 years, which pretty much coincided with the last time I watched it on my dad’s (illegally recorded) VHS. Did I know any songs besides Be Our Guest? Would this be too old-fashioned or boring for me? Would I make it out at intermission to get that choc top before the never-ending queues for prosecco formed?


Beauty and the Beast | Australian trailer


But reader, while I may not be able to tell you what I had for lunch yesterday, or who our Deputy Prime Minister is, suddenly Belle appeared. Instantly, it was if I was transported back to the early 90s when my little sister and I would tragically sing along to every song with every millennial’s babysitter, the TV. I had to remember - just like certain actors in movies, you can always, always trust Disney to put on a magical, spectacular show. Like The Lion King and Aladdin before it, Beauty and the Beast was a sensational, eye-dropping coalescence of song, dance, sets, projections and effects that had me cheering and (quietly) singing along with more gusto than a dad at a Taylor Swift concert ‘as a chaperone.’


A large part of the crowd's encouraging cheers and whoops (aside from getting five more minutes of fame for their reels #guilty) was the cast's endearing ability to bring the cartoon to life. Beauty and the Beast isn't here to change the script to try and make everything modern, and we like it that way. There was no suddenly turning Belle into a liberal lover of 21st-century podcasts instead of books (I'm looking at you, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The Musical - no one was into your Violet Beauregarde being a modern influencer, or Charlie Bucket being from the Outback. No-one). The story stayed exactly as it was, for "if it's not baroque, don't fix it!" After all, its central theme, to love the person within, is current no matter the decade or storytelling form.


Of course, the show's clear pièce de résistance comes about halfway through with the 11-minute showstopper Be Our Guest. A whirlwind delight of spinning forks, sashaying plates, tap-dancing candlesticks, a nod to Chorus Line mirror-imaging and more shining lights than the Vegas Strip, the number is such an overwhelming of the senses you may need a lie down in the great wide somewhere come intermission.


Extravagant welcomes to dinner aside, praise must also be given to the ensemble choreography in Gaston. Featuring acrobatics, can-can, over 800 mug clinks (!) and a brilliant turn from Jackson Head as Gaston that is part Disney cartoon, part Lord Farquaad in both looks and personality - his hammed-up villain appeared to have as devilishly good a time as the bootlegging B-list brigade in the crowd (I saw you filming. I saw you all!) Also, a fun fact - a young up-and-coming actor was the OG Gaston when this last played in 1995 - a little know Aussie named Hugh Jackman. Magnifique!


The musical did have some moments of confusion - why does Mrs Potts have just a single yellow glove? Why are the townspeople French; Belle American; and certain ornaments in the castle British? Does my attraction to the Beast seemingly dressed as MJ in the Thriller film clip need to be addressed in therapy? AND HOW OH HOW IS CHIP FITTING IN THAT CART? But these concerns were easily brushed away by the glittering spectacle of dancing dishes and magical household items on stage (note to self: come up with billion-dollar idea to have own dishes dance back into your drawers).


From the fabulous comedic pairing of Lumière and Cogsworth (like legit - when can I be their guest and hang out?) to the sexy frivolity from Madame and Babette, Disney's Beauty and the Beast was an absolute showstopper that got better with the fall of every rose petal.


While strangely, no VIP invite appeared for a cast afterparty (and my inbox now sits empty waiting patiently for tickets for more reviews), Beauty and the Beast was a sound and snazzy reminder that you just can't beat a classic Tale As Old As Time.

4/5 ****


For more, catch our night on Instagram @largealmondlattemedia

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Everything to know about seeing Disney's Beauty and the Beast musical, now showing at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre.


What is Beauty and the Beast about?


Beauty and the Beast tells the tale as old as time. Belle, a young woman who loves to read and imagine, is an outcast in her small provincial town, and the Beast, himself an outcast, is actually a young prince trapped under the spell for believing beauty to be skin deep. To break the curse, the Beast must learn to love and be loved in return before time runs out - or risk staying a Beast forever.


The production is filled with beloved songs from the classic Disney film, such as 'Be Our Guest,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' and 'Gaston,' with a breathtakingly reimagined production brings the classic tale to life.


Who is in the Melbourne cast of Beauty and the Beast?*


  • Shubshri Kandiah as Belle

  • Brendan Xavier as the Beast

  • Rohan Browne as Lumiere

  • Rubin Matters as Gaston

  • Gareth Jacobs as Cogsworth

  • Jayde Westaby as Mrs Potts

  • Zanda Wilkinson as Chip

  • Nick Cox as Le Fou

  • Rodney Dobson as Maurice

  • Hayley Martin as Babette

  • Alana Tranter as Madame


*Opening Night cast list, subject to change.


Belle and the Beast on stage for Beauty and the Beast

Belle and the Beast having a library & chill house date.


How long is the Beauty and the Beast musical?


The show runs for approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.


When is Beauty and the Beast playing in Melbourne?


Beauty and the Beast is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, with tickets currently available until December 2024 at  www.beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au 


Both matinee and evening shows tickets are available, as well as specialised sensory performances.


Start times may vary, with matinees tending to begin around 1.00pm or 2.00pm, and evening sessions starting between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. It's a good idea to aim early, as the show must go on and latecomers may need to wait for a suitable time to enter.


Where is Beauty and the Beast showing in Melbourne?


Beauty and the Beast is showing at Her Majesty’s Theatre, located at 219 Exhibition Street in Melbourne’s East End theatre district.


Is Beauty and the Beast suitable for children?


A Disney production, Beauty and the Beast is a family-friendly show suitable for ages 6 and up, or at parental discretion. Infants under the age of two are permitted free of charge, provided they do not occupy a seat.


A complimentary babes-in-arms ticket can be obtained from the box office on the day of the performance


Is Beauty and the Beast accessible?


For Beauty and the Beast, a range of accessible and inclusive performances are scheduled for selected dates, including a Relaxed Performance, Visual Story, an Audio Described Performance, and an Auslan Interpreted Performance.


For further information about accessibility for wheelchairs, companion cards bookings, service dogs and more, please contact Ticketek Special Needs on 03 9662 9571.


Note: The show contains bright lights, surround sound, special effects, streamer cannons and digital projections.


How do I get to Beauty and the Beast in Melbourne?


Her Majesty’s Theatre is located a short five minute walk from Parliament Station, with the closest tram stops on both the 86 and 96 lines.


There are also plenty of parking lots near by, which can be accessed on the day or booked online.


Are food and drink available at Her Majesty's Theatre? Can I bring my own?


The theatre has three main bars which serve a range of refreshments including confectionery, salty snacks, ice creams, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. For Beauty and the Beast, specialised themed cocktails are also on offer.


Lines can get long, so it is advised to get in early or pre-order for intermission. No outside food or drink are permitted.


How do I buy tickets to Beauty and the Beast in Melbourne?


Tickets for Beauty and the Beast are available at  www.beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au 


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