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Beauty and the Beast, Southampton Operatic Society, The Nuffield
THIS oft-performed musical, utilising a set and costumes used by professional companies, was a colourful extravaganza.
Having previously played a supporting role as Mrs Potts, eighteen-year-old Natalie Thorn was cast as Belle (Beauty) and treated the audience to an impressive performance, acting with passion and singing beautifully.
Phil Bailey also did very well in his first lead-role as The Beast. Mike Pavitt appeared to base his interpretation of village lothario Gaston on Elvis, but was good value for it, supported by the energetic Joseph Wright (LeFou).
Choreographer Marina Voak, Roger Lamb and Jonathan Fulcher all performed well as, respectively, Mrs Potts, Lumiere and Cogsworth.
The choreographed scenes were wonderful, Nigel Finch led a talented orchestra and director Victoria Luke delivered a visually stunning show, with several ambitious special effects.
Unfortunately the first-night was plagued throughout by erratic sound, lighting and malfunctioning props, with the fight and transformation scenes particularly affected.