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Fairy tale thriller Beauty & the Beast coming soon to Theatre by the Lake

L-R: Max Gold, Sarah Moss, Gareth Cassidy, Nicola Blackman, Joseph Richardson. Photo Robert Day

The classic fairy tale Beauty & the Beast is brought thrillingly to life in a stage adaptation by playwright Laurence Boswell, and is set to delight families this Christmas when it plays at Theatre by the Lake from 23 November to 12 January. With the cast well into their rehearsals in Keswick, the countdown to Christmas has begun.

When Beauty’s father hears that his long-lost ship packed with pearls has landed safely in harbour, his family’s dreams come true.

Setting out on a long, arduous journey to claim his fortune and secure their prosperity, he stumbles across a world of great riches, beguiling magic and a fearsome beast. But when he picks a rose as a present for his favourite daughter, little does he realise what he’s unleashed.

This adaptation, by Olivier Award-winning playwright and director Laurence Boswell, features dance, singing and live music set to an original score by composer Olly Fox with movement from Siân Williams.

The adaptation was originally written for London’s Young Vic theatre in 1996 in a production directed by Boswell which went on to win the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People. The show has also been revived for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2003, and recreated for the International Festival of the Arts in New Zealand. The play has been rewritten especially for the upcoming TBTL production.

The inspiration for the show originally came from Boswell’s then four year old daughter Lottie; he asked her which fairy story she’d most like to see on stage and her response was: “Beauty and the Beast – because it’s about a girl growing up and all the rest are about boys fighting.”

The production is directed by the award-winning director Chris Honer, who was the Artistic Director of Manchester’s Library Theatre from 1987 to 2014, and boasts a cast of nine actors: Ashley Gerlach, Eleanor Sutton, Nicola Blackman, Max Gold, Gareth Cassidy, Joseph Richardson, Charlie Cameron, Sarah Moss and Jonny Weldon. Both Gareth Cassidy and Joseph Richardson have performed at Theatre by the Lake previously, Gareth in the 2013 Summer Season, and Joseph in The Shepherd’s Life in 2016.

Chris Honer said: “Beauty & the Beast is one of the great fairy tales and this version is terrific. It has all of the original story – a scary beast, an intrepid heroine, a magic castle – plus songs, dancing horses, and even a couple of comic robots. And it has a great heart. I’m working with a wonderful cast who are brim-full of energy and we’re aiming to give Keswick audiences a magical and thrilling experience this Christmas.”

To book tickets for Beauty & the Beast or to find out more visit www.theatrebythelake.com or call the box office on 017687 74411. At Theatre by the Lake from 23 November to 12 January, tickets from £10 to £34.

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