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Beast of a musical is roaring success

March 14th, 2016

Talented teens brought Disney magic to life with performances worthy of the West End last week.

Pupils from Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls and Monmouth School put their all into the incredibly ambitious Beauty and the Beast musical during the show’s four-night run.

Dancing cutlery, sassy feather dusters, a beautiful songbird and a formidable beast enjoyed much deserved standing ovations from packed audiences after each enchanting performance.

Complemented by a live orchestra led by HMSG’s Director of Music, Mario Conway, the cast sang everyone’s favourite songs from the film and original dance routines elevated the show to a new level.

Tom Arrand, Deputy Head at HMSG, said: “Seeing the pupils’ hard work and dedication in rehearsals pay off in this huge way was overwhelming for everyone in the audience – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“The quality of the performances was staggering and I still can’t comprehend just how the staff and pupils involved pulled off such an ambitious production. They should all be incredibly proud of themselves.

“Special thanks must go to Rhyan Parry, Head of Dance at HMSG, who has worked tirelessly for the last few months to achieve such high standards. Also to Mario Conway and Debra Davies, who was joint producer and created many of the costumes.

“The ‘Be Our Guest’ scene was absolutely mind-blowing.”

The beast of a musical had a cast of 60 boys and girls between Year 7 and Year 13, with a stage crew of around 10.

Two girls, Connie and Carys, shared the starring role of Belle, and Rory and Tom took it in turns to play the Beast.

HMSG’s flawless Izzy and Monmouth’s characterful James shone as Lumiere and Cogsworth, projecting star quality and charisma.

Mr Arrand added: “The children involved will remember this for the rest of their lives, as will their parents.

“It was very moving for their teachers, who have watched them develop into such confident and gifted young adults, to see them in their element on stage. I know it has been an emotional time for some of them, with important exams and coursework to prioritise alongside rehearsals.

“But being part of this momentous production has taught them invaluable life skills and helped them to see that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.”

Ms Parry has taught at HMSG for 20 years and has countless successful shows under her belt. She lived and breathed Beauty and the Beast leading up to the show, taking on the demanding task of being its creative director and joint producer.

“I can’t explain how proud I am of everyone involved,” Rhyan said.

“Without the help of ex-pupils and parents to create the amazing set, this just wouldn’t have been possible.

“We have a specialist dance department at HMSG, so the quality and standard we produce is always high – but Beauty and the Beast has completely exceeded expectations.

“Watching my dancers, hearing our Belles’ faultless singing and seeing the emotional responses from the audience will stay with me for the rest of my life – it’s definitely a career highlight.”

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