Disney’s Beauty and the Beast arrives in Melbourne next week

Shubshri Kandiah and Brendan Xavier in Disney's Beauty and The Beast the Musical photo by Daniel BoudAlmost three decades since its Australian premiere in Victoria, Disney’s new production of Beauty and the Beast will arrive in Melbourne next week for its highly anticipated Melbourne season at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Fresh from its record-breaking Brisbane season where the show has become the highest-selling season of any show at QPAC in a decade and the third highest selling of all time behind Phantom of the Opera (1996) and The Lion King (2014) – over half a million Australians in Sydney and Brisbane have already been our guest – and Melbourne is next!

The original Australian production opened at the Princess Theatre in 1995 starring Rachael Beck in the role of Belle, Michael Cormick as the Beast, a young Hugh Jackman as Gaston, and the late Bert Newton as Cogsworth. The production played for over two years across Melbourne and Sydney and won the 1996 ARIA Award for Best Australian Soundtrack/Cast/Show Release.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Group (Aladdin, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Frozen) this new production of Beauty and the Beast brings back members of the original creative team from the ground-breaking Broadway musical to reimagine this much-loved classic tale.

Olivier Award nominee Matt West directs and choreographs, leading a team that includes original composer Alan Menken, lyricist Tim Rice, book writer Linda Woolverton, scenic designer Stan Meyer and lighting designer Natasha Katz.

Melbourne audiences will rejoice in the nostalgic and spellbinding songs of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice including Belle, Gaston, Human Again and Be Our Guest.

With spectacular new sets, costume designs and state-of-the-art technology fused with this beloved, classic story, the timeless romance is brought to life on stage by a stellar Australian cast including Shubshri Kandiah as Belle and Brendan Xavier as Beast.

They are joined by Rohan Browne in the role of Lumiere, Jackson Head as Gaston, Gareth Jacobs as Cogsworth, Jayde Westaby as Mrs Potts, Nick Cox as Le Fou, Rodney Dobson as Belle’s father, Maurice, Hayley Martin as Babette and Alana Tranter as Madame.

Based on the 1991 animated film, the original production of Beauty and the Beast played for more than 13 years on Broadway, remaining to this day one of the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history, and touring to 37 countries worldwide.

The enchanting and timeless tale of Belle and her Beast will be brought to life in a reimagined production boasting all the spectacle and grandeur audiences know and love.

Beauty and the Beast plays at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, from Thursday 27 June 2024 (opening night: Saturday 29 June). For more information, visit: www.beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au for details.

Image: Shubshri Kandiah and Brendan Xavier in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – photo by Daniel Boud