REVIEW: Viva’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a joyous fantasy world of sparkling music and fairytale magic at Soham Village College

PUBLISHED: 10:38 30 October 2017

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

Archant

What a wonderful evening! We were transported into a joyous fantasy world of sparkling music and fairy tale magic that caught our imaginations superbly.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

We adored Belle (played by Holly Pryke) who was the beautiful young maiden with the lovely voice who deftly spurned the advances of the conceited Gaston (Zack Wymer).

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

We loved her as she worried and cared for her eccentric father Maurice (Javier Londono) and eventually cast away the evil spell on the Beast (Torin Fahy) so he could turn into the handsome prince he once was and they could live happily ever after. There was hardly a dry eye in the house.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The whole cast was magnificent, from the ensembles to the major roles. Movements on the stage were swift and uplifting to witness and the tableaux that grew to fill the stage only to melt away imperceptibly were delightful.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The singing was of a very high standard and it was very moving to see such a host of young people obviously enjoying themselves as they ‘sang their hearts out’. Besides the excellent main characters, including Le Fou (Zak Potts), and Madame D’Arque (Megan Godfrey), the entrapped objects in the castle who longed to return to their human form when the spell was broken, added a great deal.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The clock (Cogsworth played by Callum Moffat) , candlestick (Lumière - Mark O’Reilly) wardrobe (Madame de la Grande Bouche – Dresden Goodwin), teapot (Mrs Potts – Phyllida Hickish) teacup (Chip – Ruby MacDonald) and feather duster (Babette - Kiera O’Reilly) carried out their roles particularly well, their different characters sharply defined and entertaining.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

Abby Cornwell, Lola Macdonald and Sienna Warder played the Silly Girls perfectly while Edward Rees, Jack Gash, Katie Kirkpatrick and Summer Dowling were admirable narrators.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The groups whirled and twirled smoothly and the wolves were particularly menacing with their fluid advancing, retreating and intertwining. The choreographer Louise Plummer and Music Director Jenny Taylor-Surridge obviously made a great impact.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The directors Ben Clarke and Lee ‘Glee’ Sherwood and the remainder of their team must be congratulated for such a fantastic production.

Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse. Viva Arts and Community Group performing the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast at Soham Village College’s Performing Arts Centre stage. PHOTO: Michael Rouse.

The next Viva production at the Performing Arts Centre in Soham is ‘Brassed Off from November 9-11. Contact www.wegottickets.com to book.

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