ACT Reviews 2022-2023 Season

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Laurence Boswell Director: Chris Loveless Accompanist - Paul Bryden Furness Youth Theatre This is my third visit to a Furness Youth Theatre production since they joined the ACT family. This year it came with a tinge of sadness due to the passing of the society’s rock, Liz loveless. Liz was the founder and producer of Furness Youth Theatre and its forerunner Act Youth Theatre. Her contribution to children’s theatre in this area was immense and both the cast and production team were determined to do her proud with this the first production since her passing. I am happy to report they did that and more. I have watched many productions of “Beauty and the Beast” over the years, and this version by Laurence Boswell is by far the closest to the original story, so not a teapot or candlestick in sight, but I must say it is still a most enjoyable and intriguing story, This play with French folk songs was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company and is extremely wordy, a challenge for most adult societies let alone a youth group. I must say on the whole, apart from the occasional slip, they delivered with authority beyond their years. The show opens with Beauty’s family, (Yes, she is called Beauty, not Belle, in this version), setting the scene. The father, portrayed by Oliver Wadsworth and mother, by Katie Mansell do this very nicely. Maddy Backhouse who gives a solid performance as Beauty is joined on stage by her two scheming sisters played with great gusto by Malika Taylor and Ruby Marvin, and three loving brothers played by Alix Carr, Aidan Pearson-Gee and Steffan Clark. When Beauty’s father hears that his ship laden with treasure has made