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Beauty and the Beast

Music by Glenn Buhr

Birmingham Royal Ballet

The Lowry, 24 January 2012

Beauty and the Beast

Ballets need ravens.

They always add a dash of dread to the proceedings, darkening even the most pastoral romance.  No doubt about it, they are plenty ominous birds.

This was another top-class production from the Birmingham Royal Ballet.  As the classic fairy-tale unfolded, everything served to enchant the audience.  Dance and music, the sets and the costumes; they all beat the band.  Quite copacetic withal; that’s what it was.

Once the curse was lifted, however, the enchantment abruptly ended.  For at the finish the Beast was transformed into – well, he could have been a Prince, God knows the current crop are bland enough.  But he looked more like a Customer Service Advisor or – Mary, Mother of Jesus forbid – a Digital Marketing Executive type, in truth.  All that palaver, and she ends up with this guy.

So was it all worth it in the end, Belle love?  Wouldn’t you have preferred someone wild and untamed?  We, the audience, got our money’s worth, but will you be happy and content when the curtains close?

Beauty and the Beast is at The Lowry until 28 January.  Details are here.