Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Beastly Tale, Beautifully Told: The Dukes festive show is a classic fairy tale

A scene from The Dukes production of Beauty and the Beast which runs from November 20-January 2. Photo: Darren Andrews
Photo: Darren Andrews
A beastly tale beautifully told by local writer Eddie Robson will entertain audiences at The Dukes in Lancaster this festive season.

Beauty and the Beast, which runs opens on Friday (20th November) and runs until 2nd January 2016, is a classic fairytale full of adventure, fun, wonderful characters and drama.

The audience is invited to join Belle as she leaves her family and ventures deep into the forest towards the magical castle. There she confronts the Beast, a grizzly and gruesome creature who’s in hiding from the world.

Can the Beast soften and change during Belle’s stay in his home or must Belle look beyond his grotesque appearance to what really matters?

Performed in The Round, this new version of Beauty and the Beast has been adapted by the Lancaster-based writer and father-of-two, Eddie Robson, and promises to be a feelgood festive treat for all the family and is the perfect Christmas play for anyone aged five plus.

Eddie has previously contributed to The Dukes youth theatre productions of Your Country Needs You (But I Don’t Need My Country) and Your Country Called (And It Wants You Back) as well as Late Night Lock-In. He has written episodes of Sarah & Duck for Cbeebies and Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, sketches for Mitchell and Webb, and ten episodes of Radio 4 Extra’s Doctor Who series. His other work includes a recently-launched novel Tomorrow Never Knows, non-fiction books on film and TV, and comic strips for Marvel Comics and Britain's long-running weekly SF anthology comic 2000AD.

Beauty and the Beast is the fourth Dukes Christmas production in The Round to be directed by Joe Sumsion, who was brought up in Kendal and who saw a version of this fairytale when he made his first ever theatre visit to The Dukes in 1973, aged five. He has since directed versions of this fairy tale twice, for M6 Theatre Company at the Bury Met in the 1990s and as the first walkabout show in Lancaster’s Williamson Park, which he directed in 2008.

“Beauty and the Beast is a fantastic, rich and moving story – the best of all fairytales for my money," he enthuses. "It’s about the idea of true beauty and how it could be that a young, beautiful woman would fall for a hideous beast.

"Presenting this story in The Round, with the audience in touching distance of the characters, will give it an extra frisson.”

Beauty and the Beast is the highlight of The Dukes festive season which also includes a Christmas Cabaret with Slightly Fat Features on 10th - 11th Decemberand a selection of seasonal film screenings.

• To book tickets for Beauty and the Beast, ring The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org

Performance dates: Friday 20th November - Saturday 2nd January. For the first time at The Dukes, there will be a Relaxed Performance at 2.00pm on 28th November. This is open to all but especially children with special needs and their families. There will be a more relaxed atmosphere and possibly some changes to the production at certain points in the show.

• Tickets: £10.50-£17/Concessions receive a further £2 off. November 20 2pm preview, £5. Balcony stools £8. Balcony standing £5. A £1 per transaction fee applies when booking online

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