A big warm Christmas welcome from all of us here at The Dukes,
Beauty & The Beast has been created by the talented team who brought you our highly acclaimed productions of Cinderella: A Fairytale and Sleeping Beauty, this brand-new production is a thoroughly festive adventure that all the family will love.
Bella and her mother live alone in the countryside, scrimping and saving to make ends meet. But, not far from their farm, in the forest, there is a terrible secret waiting to be uncovered that has made the land incredibly fertile and lush, even in the dead of winter. .
Kidnapped by the fearsome Beast, Bella discovers that he might not be the mean-spirited creature that she has been told about – and that the curse he is under can be broken.
Filled with magic, dancing and songs that you’ll love to sing along to, this is Beauty & The Beast done Dukes-style.
We hope you enjoy it!
Adapting a well-known story for performance at Christmas is enormous fun, and it is to be taken very seriously. Everyone knows stories like Beauty and the Beast - if you veer too far from the core elements, people will let you know. Equally, nobody wants to hear exactly the same story told in exactly the same way. You can get that at home. So people’s investment in the story is to be taken seriously, but finding your own way through it should be fun.
In this version, we decided to have the story told by a team of gardeners. The themes of buried truths, hidden beauty, and new growth seemed a perfect fit. And once that was decided as the vehicle for telling the story, it opened up an awful lot of fun. All I can say is that if your kids don’t like jokes about poo, they’ll be put off this show from the very beginning. But we’re yet to meet the kid of whom that’s true.
In the Dukes bar recently someone told me he had no intention of seeing this show because “it’s for kids”. But we call it a “family show” deliberately: it’s not just for kids, it’s for everyone. This doesn’t mean having some jokes the kids get and some the adults get, and a bit of smut for the dads. It means having, as near as possible, everything work for everyone. Everyone understands the feeling of being separated from those you love. Everyone wants to be brave and stand up for what’s right. Everyone enjoys watching a man pretend to be a dog.
Beauty and the Beast presents particular challenges. It’s got a brilliant, terrifying baddie, and by the end the heroine has to fall in love with him. How to resolve this situation is a challenge familiar to the writers of every romantic comedy since Pride and Prejudice – but they don’t all have to do it in terms clear to five-year-olds and emotionally complex enough for grown-ups. Then you realise that, at Christmas, grown-ups laugh like five-year-olds, and five-year-olds are always more emotionally intuitive than we ever give them credit for.
I’ll never lose sight of the privilege of being given all these resources to tell a story I can enjoy with my friends, my parents, and my kids. That’s the kind of fun I take very seriously.
- Daniel Bye, Writer/Co-Director
Cast & Creatives
Cast - Bella
Cast - Beast
Cast - Mum
Cast - Gardener
Cast - Lionel
Creative - Writer & Co-Director
Creative - Director
Creative - Composer
Creative - Designer
Creative - Choreographer
Creative - Stage Manager
Crew - Deputy Stage Manager
Crew - Assistant Stage Manager
Interview With Daniel Bye
Rehearsals & Behind The Scenes
Access at the Dukes
Physical Access for Performances and Screenings in the Round
The Round entrance is open 20 minutes before the start of the performance. Both The Round entrance and The Round Foyer, including an accessible toilet, are fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is a dropped curb outside the Round entrance. If you arrive more than 20 minutes before the performance or would like to access the Box Office, cafébar or gallery, please see the access details above.
Physical Access for Performances and Screenings for Moor Space
Moor Space is fully accessible to wheelchair users and has an accessible toilet. (There is a dropped curb)
Physical Access for Box Office, Cafébar, Gallery and Performances and Screenings in the Rake
The Dukes’ front entrance is accessed via 4 steps, followed by two further steps. These steps have a handrail on the right-hand side. To access our ramp, go down the cobbled alley to the left of the main entrance and then turn right. Please ring the doorbell by the ramp and a member of staff will open the doors. A car park space can usually be reserved at the back of the building (access via St Anne’s Place) in advance for those who need access via the ramp. Please mention this when booking. The whole of The Rake’s Front of House facilities, including the gallery, Box Office and accessible toilet, is on one level. The Rake theatre has one row of accessible seating on the front row, or chairs in this row can be removed to accommodate customers using wheelchairs.
Please note, there is a higher than usual curb directly outside the Duke's front entrance. There is a dropped curb to the left of St Anne’s Place, giving access down the cobbled alley to the ramp mentioned above. There is also a dropped curb outside the Round entrance.
Facilities for deaf or hard of hearing people
Infrared sound systems are available to amplify sound via a personal receiver. This can be used with or without a hearing aid. Selected film screenings in our programme are subtitled for hard of hearing patrons. An induction loop system is also available at the box office and in the Gallery.
Each of the shows produced by the Dukes has a British Sign Language Interpreted Performance. For details of our upcoming BSL Interpreted Performances please see www.dukes-lancaster.org.
Hearing dogs are welcome and fresh drinking water is always available for them.
Facilities for people with visual impairments
For people who have difficulty seeing the stage, all shows produced by the Dukes have audio described performances and a pre-show touch tour of the set. The audio description provides a live commentary (pre-recorded for the Dukes Park Show) of all the visual aspects of the production via a personal receiver provided by The Dukes. The professional audio describer will set the scene, describe the costumes and props and describe the actors’ movements and facial expressions as they happen. This is done in such a way as to ensure you will hear as much of the dialogue as possible.
We also offer touch tours before our audio described performance to enable people with visual impairments to feel their way around the set, costumes and props to get a better understanding of the show. Please let the Box Office know if you would like to use the service when you book. For details of our upcoming Audio Described Performances please phone the Box Office 01524 598500.
Guide dogs are welcome and fresh drinking water is always available for them.
Please contact us in advance if you require any assistance.