Disney’s Olivier Award-winning stage musical Beauty and the Beast today announces the cast to star in the re-imagined and re-designed new production. Staged by members of the original award-winning creative team, Beauty and the Beast will open a UK & Ireland Tour at The Bristol Hippodrome on Wednesday 25th August 2021.
Courtney Stapleton and Emmanuel Kojo will play the iconic lead roles, Belle and her Beast, as spectacular new designs and state-of-the-art technology fuse with the classic story, bringing the beloved tale to new life.
Courtney’s credits include Dear Evan Hansen, Six, Les Misérables and Bat Out of Hell, and Emmanuel is best known for performing in Oklahoma!, Girl from the North Country, Show Boat and The Scottsboro Boys.
Also announced today are Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Broadway Musical, Les Misérables) as Lumiere and Tom Senior (The Pirates of Penzance, Eugenius!) who will be Gaston.
Sam Bailey (The X-Factor winner 2013, Blood Brothers) will play the legendary role of Mrs Potts, with Nigel Richards (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) as Cogsworth.
Martin Ball (Les Misérables, Wicked, Top Hat) will take the role of Maurice, Samantha Bingley (Martha In The Secret Garden) will be Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey (Curtains, 42nd Street, Funny Girl) will be Babette and Louis Stockil (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia!) will play Le Fou.
The full company is completed with Jake Bishop, Pamela Blair, Liam Buckland, Jasmine Davis, Autumn Draper, Daisy Edwards, Alyn Hawke, George Hinson, Jennifer Louise Jones, Brontë Lavine, Thomas- Lee Kidd, David McIntosh, Aimee Moore, Sam Murphy, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Emily Squibb, Grace Swaby, India Thornton and Rhys West.
Spectacularly reimagined in startling new designs which will use the latest theatrical innovations, this timeless romantic tale will be brought to life on stage like never before, with all the charm and elegance audiences expect from Belle and her Beast. Among the many new features of this 2021 Beauty and the Beast is an exuberant tap dance within the legendary production number Be Our Guest, created expressly for Gavin Lee, recognised as one of the great tappers on either side of the Atlantic.
Matt Westsaid: “I am so excited today to announce Courtney, Emmanuel and the whole company who will bring our new production of Beauty to life later this year. We have a vibrant and exciting cast, and I look forward to working with them and our original creative team to reimagine the show for today.”
Performances will begin in Bristol on Wednesday 25th August, with other engagements also confirmed for Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublinwith more venues to be announced in due course. All tour dates and information at www.beautyandthebeastmusical.co.uk
Olivier Award nominee Matt West will direct and choreograph this new producon, leading a team that includes composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, bookwriter Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and lighting designer Natasha Katz. The team collectively received five Tony® nominations and a win for Hould-Ward’s costume design, when Disney first debuted Beauty and the Beast on Broadway 26 years ago.
The structure and tone of the story and score – as conceived for the 1991 film by its executive producer and lyricist Howard Ashmanwith a continued evolution for the Broadway adaptation three years later – made Disney history. Only once before – in Menken and Ashman’s previous film musical The Little Mermaid – had a Disney film been structured like a stage musical where the songs are integral to plot and characterisation rather than only ornamental or digressions. This Menken/Ashman innovation is credited with the 1990’s Disney animation renaissance that went on to create such film classics as Aladdin, The Lion King and Hunchback of Notre Dame and helped re-introduce the book musical form to popular culture.
This new Beauty, while retaining the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony®-nominated score – which brought classics including Be Our Guest and Beauty and the Beast, as well as Change in Me, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter – will be heard afresh with new dance arrangements by David Chase, allowing original choreographer Matt West to re-visit his work. Longtime Menken collaborators Michael Kosarin and Danny Troob are musical supervisor/vocal arranger and orchestrator, respectively.
Completing the design team, Tony®-winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production. Casting for the production is by Pippa Ailion Casting.
The original West End production of Beauty and the Beast opened at the Dominion Theatre in April 1997, playing over 1100 performances to more than two million people. It won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Musical and enjoyed a hugely successful UK & Ireland tour in 2001.
Based on the 1991 film – the first animated feature ever nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture – Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. It played for more than 13 years on Broadway, closing in 2007. It remains to this day – 26 years after it opened – among the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history. The live-action retelling of the animated classic quickly became the highest grossing live action film musical of all time in 2017, a record only beaten by The Lion King live-action release in 2019.
Beauty and The Beast is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, under the supervision of Thomas Schumacher.
Beauty and The Beast – 2021 Tour Dates
Wednesday 25th August – Saturday 18th September 2021
The Bristol Hippodrome
Box Office: 0844 871 3012
Thursday 23rd September – Saturday 16th October 2021
Box Office: 0844 871 3017
Thursday 21st October – Saturday 27th November 2021
Box Office: 0844 871 3014
Thursday 9th December 2021 – Saturday 15th January 2022
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Box Office: 029 2063 6464 www.wmc.org.uk
November 2022 (back on sale soon)
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
Box Office: 00 353 1677 7999
Further tour dates to be announced in due course.