By Peter Kemp
A remarkable production with the Diamond Valley Singers and the Eltham Orchestra.
A large show with 47 players onstage and overall, approximately 200 people involved.
A production where the orchestra actually accompanied the singers so the audience could really hear the singers and not, like what often happens, the orchestras seem to want to compete with the artists. The singing was wonderful and on reading the bios of the artists that is no wonder.
Belle (the Beauty) was performed by Kristina Lang. A remarkable and moving performance added to by a lovely voice. Some of her scenes were a joy to behold.
The beast/prince was played by Nathan Michael Wright. Wright handled the role with finesse giving a great interpretation of the character and his scenes with Lang were magnificent.
One of the most amusing and desperate characters is Gaston, a man who considers himself God’s gift to women and decides he will marry Belle regardless of her wishes. Lachlan Alexander captured the role with finesse giving a sterling performance of such a character.
Cogsworth, the clock was given a great performance by Malcolm Wilton. His role was the butler who ran the household but had difficulty in the other staff members doing what he wished. Wilton captured the character with aplomb, projecting well and handling the role with ease.
Lumiere, the servant about to turn into candlesticks, was played by Jack Maher. One did not envy Maher as he had to hold his arms up throughout the whole performance as they had candles at each hand which were illuminated every now and then. A good strong French accent and a professional performance. As Mrs Potts, the teapot, Bernadette Sheedy had a hard job in keeping one arm as the spout and one arm as the handle. Her role was played with good professionalism and was one of the highlights of the evening. Her son, the teacup, was given a good interpretation by Sienna Iaria.
A wonderful evening of theatre and DVS are to be congratulated on such an evening.