THEATRE REVIEW: by Jeremy Ransome

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Beauty and the Beast by Limelight Youth Theatre,

South Holland Centre, Spalding

Saturday, April 27

Never mind “Britain’s Got Talent”, what about Spalding?

After witnessing a superb performance of Cats by Stage Two a week before, the kids and I were treated to another masterclass seven days on.

Limelight Youth Theatre’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was a joy to behold.

Director Phillip Norton obviously got the best out of the cast of four- to 13-year-olds and in 11-year-old Diana Charrviciute the group has really unearthed a star of the future.

For someone of her tender years to take on such a starring role as Belle and pull off the singing and acting with such aplomb really is a huge achievement.

Her lovely voice sounded straight out of a Disney original and I’m sure many more leading roles will follow.

Alongside her 13-year-old Callum Andrew really grew into the part of Beast confidently as the show progressed, especially as the transformed prince.

All the other “senior” cast members put on memorable displays too, with Meachelle Foster (12) really encompassing the spirit of Mrs Potts and Olivia Barron-Clark (12) displaying all the dashing character needed for Cogsworth. And Thomas Brittain (13) thrived in the tough role of Gaston.

And we mustn’t forget eight-year-old Liam Exton, who seemed to really enjoy his role as Chip as much as the audience did.

The large chorus of youngsters were no bit-part act either, really adding to the show with some beautiful singing and heartwarming enthusiasm.

One little lad even encompassed the “show must go on” spirit perfectly when he kept singing and dancing despite having to pull up his falling trousers!