Northern Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast is stunning on so many levels.
It’s the classic tale of vanity and arrogance being punished by an acute attack of loathsomeness, only to be redeemed by love.
But this classic comes with brilliant characterisation by all, effortless-looking movement, and a dark-mirrored set.
A stand-out scene in the first act featured the debt collectors coming for Beauty’s father’s house. Bedecked in black, with sunglasses, the collectors turn their attention to carrying off everything, even the staff, loading up their spoils into the ever fluid set with a keen piece of choreography.
When we meet him, the Beast is simian in a reptilian setting. Riku Ito’s knuckle dragging anti-hero, is mesmerising as his frustration shines through, both when partnered with Ayami Miyata’s Beauty, or the Princely half of his being, played by Joseph Taylor.
The Mayflower’s orchestra pit is immense, perhaps a little too big as the musicians looked lost. And perhaps that’s why some of them wandered off halfway through act one, into a door set directly under the stage, glaring distracting light as it opened. It was a sour note in an otherwise excellent performance.
Until December 3.