April 18th 2018
Beauty and the Beast: From the Assistant Director's Chair
Cobham Hall’s “Beauty and The Beast” was a show with guts and just a little touch of magic. Undertaking such a famous Disney musical is undeniably a challenge, but one that our team undertook with the passion and enthusiasm of the biggest and brightest Disney characters.
As we embarked on our journey, we were adamant that our show would retain a spark of something different, some of that unique Cobham Hall spirit. We had a diverse cast this year, from girls who have been involved in many shows, to girls who had never been involved in a theatrical production before. Regardless, the more experienced helped and worked with the less so, and they in turn brought a freshness and enthusiasm, that together created a piece of which all involved should be incredibly proud.
Staging this piece seemed at first to be problematic; there are many different locations and atmospheres that one must take into account; a quaint French village, a terrifying forest and the infamous enchanted castle. However, with a little blue-sky thinking from our ever-talented Mr. Hillier, we were transported seamlessly into these different mystical worlds through projected backdrops. This sense of magic was aided from the very moment our audience arrived, thanks to the hard work of Miss Lambert and her Sixth Form team, who created a spectacular Medieval Fayre in the courtyard of Cobham Hall itself.
Alan Menken’s musical style is full of the joyful humour that embodies the Disney spirit without ever becoming too saccharin. Rather it creates strong and independent characters while never missing a comedy moment! The Musical Team, led by Miss Clements, went continually above and beyond in their effort to showcase the amazing voices and talent of our cast, all while maintaining a sense of both camaraderie and professionalism that any West End pit would be honoured to have. Simply put, the show would not have happened without them.
It would be remiss to not mention my Mother, Mrs Patricia Gough, our Director. While she is a hard taskmaster, she gave all of her experience and expertise to ensure that every single cast member had an unforgettable and joyful experience. Fortunately, the magic of Disney was a fitting farewell as her last show at Cobham Hall. Alongside all of us, she continues to find inspiration from the amazing talent and sense of community of the pupils at Cobham Hall and we are all immensely proud of their hard work. Well done to all.
- Miss Natasha Elliott. MMus. BMus (Hons). Assistant Director.