Beauty and the Beast, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

AN impressive production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, with excellent effects, was acclaimed by large audiences at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, where there were four public performances and another for local primary schoolchildren. The spectacular musical show featured more than 100 actors, singers and instrumentalists from throughout the school - Year 7 to sixth form.

The popular, splendidly-costumed production reflected credit on everyone involved, from director Zoe Markham-Lee and musical director Liz Hodgson to the enthusiastic students who clearly relished their roles - on stage and behind the scenes. The choreography, by Natasha Dixon, enhanced the drama, with stunning sequences that ranged from spooky to sparkling. Swift, imperceptible scene changes were achieved, with evocative sets designed by Andrew Robertson.

Some principal roles were shared, with different actors at the various performances. Belle (the Beauty) was played by Chloe Bell and Georgia Scott; Rosie Cleary and and Sophie Silcock were Maurice. Alfie Jones, whose fearsome costume included horns, was the Beast, finally magically transformed into the handsome Prince. Dibesh Thakuri was Gaston; Harry Picken was Lumiere, complete with candles, and Charlie Barton-Embling was Cogsworth. Belinda Curtis played Mrs Potts; Megan Dalton was Chip, and Calista Howells was the delightful Babette. James Halliwell played Lefou and Georgia Donley was Monsieur D'Arque. Bethany Taylor was Wardrobe and Malaika Sinclair was the narrator/enchantress. The Silly Girls were played by Lee Davies-Hillier, Ellie Fleckney, Halle Sykes and Megan Taylor.

The eight-piece band's superb performance enhanced the dramatic impact of the memorable show, which was another notable success for this outstanding school.

Stella Taylor