Beastly en­counter

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Never judge a beast by his feral furry cov­er­ing is one of those time-hon­oured mes­sages.

With Dis­ney about to re­lease a new ver­sion of Beauty & the Beast next year, Pahiatua Reper­tory is bring­ing the mu­si­cal fairy­tale of Belle and her ‘‘com­pan­ion an­i­mal’’ based on the well-loved 1991 an­i­mated movie, to the Tararua stage.

Di­rec­tor Hay­den Giles said it was a huge show, one of the big­gest the so­ci­ety had at­tempted.

Open­ing in Pahiatua’s Re­gent The­atre this week, Beauty & the Beast is the cul­mi­na­tion of a mam­moth ef­fort by cast, crew, tech­ni­cians and cos­tu­miers.

The cos­tumes are the Weta Work­shop-de­signed pieces of wear­able art used for the 2008 Abbey Mu­si­cal The­atre pro­duc­tion.

‘‘Some of them for the char­ac­ters of Cogsworth, Madame de la Grande Bouche and Mrs Potts are mas­sive. It’s been in­ter- es­t­ing given the con­straints of the Pahiatua the­atre. Char­ac­ters mov­ing back­stage have to be chore­ographed as care­fully as they are on­stage.’’

Some of the cozzies were a lit­tle worse for wear, and Giles praised his wardrobe depart­ment for re­pair­ing and for re­mak­ing some of them - namely the wolf and gar­goyle cos­tumes.

‘‘They’ve been awe­some. This is the home of real com­mu­nity the­atre - ev­ery­body does ev­ery­thing to as pro­fes­sional stan­dard as we can get it.’’

The show may be a tight fit, but Giles is promis­ing an ex­pan­sive ap­proach to the pro­duc­tion.

‘‘We’re us­ing gobo light­ing, and this is the first Pahiatua pro­duc­tion to use mov­ing lights, and the first to use three pro­jec­tors.

Steve Jenk­ins, Growltiger/Gus the The­atre Cat in the Abbey’s pro­duc­tion of Cats plays the Beast, with Katie Mon­aghan as ‘‘the per­fect Dis­ney princess’’.

Nick Ross plays Gas­ton, while Globe Award win­ners Bruce Sin­clair is Cogsworth and Grant Miller is Lu­miere.

Mu­si­cal di­rec­tor Shane Brown pre­sides over a four-piece band that in­cludes a flute, to de­liver the chal­leng­ing score.

‘‘There’s a lot of magic hap­pen­ing, and it’s some­thing we are re­ally proud of,’’ Giles said.

To win a dou­ble pass to open­ing night see The Tri­bune Face­book page

PHOTO: HAN­NAH MILLS/SUPPLIED

Bruce Sin­clair (Cogsworth), Grant Miller (Lu­miere), Sarah Don­nelly (Mrs Potts), Danielle Mac­don­ald (Ba­bette) and Gail Lucin­sky (Madame de la Grande Bouche) in ‘‘Beauty and the Beast’’.

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