Review: Beauty & the Beast – (CTC Production)

Disney’s Beauty and The Beast is the latest musical to get The CTC treatment, at Bury St Edmund’s beautiful Theatre Royal.

The musical first wowed Broadway audiences in 1994 and since that time has gone on to perform to critical acclaim around the world.  

It is adapted from the Disney animated classic and still cleverly maintains the magic when performed as a live production. Recently the Suffolk-based and award-winning CTC added their own magic and also wowed Suffolk audiences.

This classic story tells of Belle, a young woman living in a provincial town, and the Beast, a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love another and earn their love in return the curse will be broken. If not, he will be doomed to remain a Beast for all time. As the years pass, he falls deeper into despair, losing all hope – if he does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. But who could ever learn to love a Beast?

Taking the lead role of Belle is Robyn Cable, a CTC newcomer, but already a star in the making, totally captivating performance. Meanwhile making his final appearance with The CTC (he’s now reached the upper age limit for the company) is Wilfred Kemsley, I have watched this young man in countless CTC productions and with his final production with the company he certainly is going out with a bang. Keep an eye out for Wilfred as we haven’t seen the last of him yet.

Freddie Idehen plays Gaston and his swagger in his character is great, Harry Butcher takes on the role of Lumber, great French accent and some great comedy in his latest role, Evie Capon is Mrs Potts turns in a lovely mumsie performance with Sylvie Jamieson as her daughter Chip. I could go on and on… it’s a sizeable cast and I honestly could find something good to say about every single one.

The CTC are a young people’s theatre company, and every time I have the privilege of seeing a performance by them I am blown away. Many past performers with the company have now gone on to the next stage in their acting and singing careers, making way for yet more talented performers. 

The driving force for such excellence though must be down to Director and Principal of The CTC, Bridie Rowe and the staff that she has around her. Together they nurture and encourage these youngsters to perform in such as way that they could easily be performers in a West End touring production. Long may the CTC continue, and next time they take to the stage I highly recommend (or dear I say I order) that you make sure that you are sat watching them!

For more information on The CTC visit or find them on Facebook.

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine

Pictures: Gavin King Photography – Click on pictures for larger versions