“Tale as old as time…”  What an amazing show our 2015 production of Beauty and the Beast Jnr was!  Congratulations to all our children for their hard work and their fantastic performances.  This was a huge production and we are incredibly proud of them all.  We have also had some particularly lovely feedback from our school audiences – and they loved the opportunity to meet the characters after the shows.Trinity College of London Report
We are also delighted with the award of DISTINCTION by the Trinity College of London examiners.  Well done everyone!!

Some highlights from their report:

Performances

  • This was a strong ensemble piece with some very strong individual performances from the principal characters. Characters were sharply defined physically and vocally by all principal characters.
  • Relationships between characters such as Maurice and Belle, Gaston and Le Fou, The Beast’s servants and the Beast and Belle had a strong sense of spontaneity, demonstrating the ability to listen to each other very well.
  • Good dynamic changes indicated in the text and music were accomplished by principals and chorus in an entertaining performance.
  • Group singing was energised and very effective. Soloists needed to remember that the microphone does not do the work for you and that voices need supporting with breath in order to have power and resonance.

Group Dynamic

  • A strong energy was apparent from the youngest to the oldest members of the group. Younger members were disciplined and put their heart and soul into the chorus scenes, songs and dances, but the real ensemble work lay with the older performers.
  • Some effective ensemble work was apparent throughout, both in the whole company and in the smaller groupings, such as the Beast’s servant group that was particularly effective.
  • Group singing was strong in the big company numbers, bringing energy to the performance.
  • Group choreography was good although the standard across the group was not always consistent. Some performers needed to find a way to inhabit the movement more, extending it through the whole body so that everyone was at the same level of energy even if ability varied.

Staging

  • Direction of the performance was strong with very creative use made of the stage space.
  • Transitions between scenes were smooth both technically and from the company, bringing new scenes onto the stage with energy and focus, altering the dynamics of the performances.
  • Choreography was imaginative and placed at a level that could involve all members of the group. Choreography of Be Our Guest was particularly effective, working on several different levels.
  • Blocking of actors was generally very natural and led by character and text.
  • The big ensemble work was effective, though greater detail in those small interactions within the crowd would have added another dimension to the crowd work.

Design

  • The simple opening of the archway was effective.
  • Establishing different settings with large pieces of set that could be moved easily on or off stage worked very well, making transitions between scenes smooth. A good stage management team worked hard to accomplish that.
  • Design of some of the costumes was particularly imaginative, especially the furniture characters in the Beast’s Palace. The Clock was particularly good.  All costumes were designed well and added colour to the performance and were appropriate to the style of the performance.
  • Painting of pieces of set was very well done and enhanced the performance.
  • Individual props like Maurice’s machine were fun and well made making visual impact.

Technical

  • The lighting was particularly effective creating atmospheric scenes and supporting the big changes in dynamics from one scene to another.
  • Sound also supported acting and narrative not dominating the performance.
  • The use of smoke machine and special lighting effects was effective.