Here’s my experience watching my favorite Disney movie as a musical at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre! Let’s just say that it was definitely a night to remember…
Sometimes, when I take walks, I like to walk down the Grand Canal Dock. There’s always something about the water that just draws me in. I am convinced that I was a mermaid in my past life.
One day, when I was walking down past the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, I saw the posters of shows coming to the theatre. I looked through them with interest and then I saw one I knew immediately that I wanted to see.
Beauty and the Beast
Four words, one story, one movie that has been part of my life for years. When I was little, I played the Disney movie continuously, played the soundtrack on my morning walks, and collected as many dolls and figurines as I could relating to Belle and the Beast. When I played the Kingdom Hearts Playstation game, I was delighted to see that there was a level in the Beast’s Castle. I think that was my favorite part of the game, aside from the actual Disney castle.
When I saw that the musical was coming to Dublin, I knew that I wanted to go. But then a little something happened that caused me to put everything on hold. A little thing called the coronavirus pandemic. Once I saw how long Ireland was going to be stuck in isolation, I knew that there was no point in even trying to get tickets to the show. What was the point? All shows were canceled for the foreseeable future.
Two years later, and with the coronavirus now just a small part of society, I saw that Beauty and the Beast was coming back to the Bord Gais. And I knew immediately that I was going. It took a bit of time as getting tickets proved to be more difficult than I thought (popular demand!) but I ultimately managed to get two tickets for myself and my friend Silvia.
I knew exactly what I was going to wear the night of the show. It was easy: a few months prior, I’d bought a gorgeous t-shirt depicting the stained glass window at the end of the movie. I knew it was perfect.
On Thursday 15th December, we got ourselves ready, made sure the tickets were safe on my phone and the two of us walked from our home to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Although I admit, a couple of times we did question why we chose to walk because it was absolutely freezing!
Silvia and I arrived and we managed to get into the theatre no bother. To see the show illuminated on the building thrilled me. I knew it was going to be an amazing night.
Before the show, I warned Silvia that she was not to hold me back at the merchandise stall. And to her credit, she didn’t! I walked away from the stall with two programmes, a tote bag, a beautiful book necklace, a magnet, a keychain and a gorgeous hand mirror. (The mirror was a gift from Silvia to say thank you for getting the tickets and inviting her to the show. How lovely was that?) It wasn’t too long after we finished at the stall, that we found our seats and the show began!
I am the sort of person who has watched Beauty and the Beast repeatedly for years. I have listened to the soundtracks religiously. I have a video on my On This Day channel dedicated to the movie! You can definitely say that I was really excited for the show!
At the start of the show,there was a wonderful tribute to the late Angela Lansbury who voiced Mrs. Potts in the original film. It was her voice reciting the introduction to the story. To hear her voice say ‘For who could ever learn to love a beast?’ was such a moving tribute to the late great actress.
So what can I say about Beauty and the Beast as a musical? What word can truly describe it?
Maybe…all of the above? I think that’s just about right!
Let’s talk about the performances. Courtney Stapleton as Belle did an amazing job, she really captured the character and the emotions of Belle wonderfully. With her naturally curly hair and reading glasses, she showed everybody in the audience that anybody can be their own Belle if they really want to be. And I have to be upfront and honest and say that I fell in love with Shaq Taylor as the Beast. His dark sultry voice sent chills down my spine. His solo of If I Can’t Love Her was just…ooh. Yes, I know I must sound like a giggly schoolgirl but he was amazing.
I have to say though, it was Alyn Hawke as Lumiere and Nigel Richards as Cogsworth who really stole the show, they were hilarious together. In every scene they were in, they had me in stitches. Their work in the big performance of Be Our Guest was just out of this world! I also enjoyed watching Tom Senior as Gaston and Louis Stockil as Lefou together, but I think they didn’t get enough stage time. But Tom Senior did a fine job with Me, he gave me plenty reasons as to why I don’t want a Gaston in my life, thank you very much!
In retrospect, I already knew that Beauty and the Beast was going to be an amazing show. I just did not expect it to be as amazing as it was. I am really happy that I finally got to see it. It’s a musical that I have always wanted to see and I’m really thrilled that I finally did.
My dear Silvia thanked me for inviting her along to the show; she had only ever watched Beauty and the Beast in Spanish prior to this so this was her first time hearing the music in English. But she absolutely loved it! She said to me as we went home that we’re now going to have to watch all of the versions of Beauty and the Beast together! You don’t hear me complaining about that!
Beauty and the Beast is a fairytale that has been around for over two centuries. This movie has been an aspect of society for over thirty years. It’s certainly a tale as old as time, but it’s a tale that will never grow old for me! If you’re fortunate enough to have this musical arrive at your closest theatre, you should definitely take the time to go and see it. It’s definitely worthwhile!
P.S. I’m finishing off this article with a link to my On This Day video, talking about the first release of Beauty and the Beast in 1991. It’s nothing fancy or anything like that, but I’m happy I did it anyway!