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Review: Beauty and The Beast at the Wycombe Swan
THIS year's Wycombe Swan Summer Youth Project is as good as many of the professional shows I have seen, brimming with the most talented youngsters the area has to offer.
I was so impressed by the array of talent on display in the 2012 project, Beauty and the Beast, which showed at the Swan over the weekend.
The costumes were fantastic, the set was well designed and of course, the most important part, the young actors excelled themselves with an incredible display of vocal talent and acting ability.
The show is adapted from the Disney film of the fairytale and follows the love story between Belle and the Beast.
There are more than 250 young people who take part in these projects each year and the best scenes were when the stage was full.
The upbeat Be Our Guest, was quite simply amazing, as the cast flew onto the stage as enchanted objects and danced their way through this uplifting number.
Human Again was equally spell-bounding as was the very funny Gaston scene.
I had heard about the talent on show at these youth project performances, but I had never seen it for myself. I can now see why people rush to buy tickets, bearing in mind this is actually an amateur production. I believe it would be hard to tell if you didn't know.
The beautiful Helen Hill was brilliant as the lead, Belle, and was note-perfect. Steve Clarke played The Beast sensitively and made the character believable.
Special mention has to go to Jonah Halton, who played Lumiere and Ben Rees, who played Cogsworth, as they were both brilliant and funny. They worked so well together and I was always waiting for their return onstage.
Elysia Page was equally brilliant as Mrs Potts and of course the dinky Georgina Bishop, who is just 11, was wonderful as Chip.
Another great duo were Thomas Amnifar-Antoniw who played Gaston and Kristian Price who played Le Fou, who played their villainous characters with ease.
Other principal characters who were all as good were Richard Edwards as Maurice, Jenny Jones at the Enchantress, Sammie Brain as Babette, Hayley White as Madame De La Grand Bouche and Scott Brooks as D'Arque.
I could go on as all the actors were superb, as were the very capable dancers.
I cannot praise the youth theatre production enough. There must have been a lot of proud parents in the theatre that night as this was a production worthy to be on a professional stage.
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