Last Saturday night, we took our two girls to see the local production of Beauty and the Beast. It is always a risk to go and see a local production. The tickets were $25 each (with a 10% promo discount) and although I don’t mind paying to support our local theatre, I questioned whether it would be worth the money. Would the show be second rate? Would the talent be less than spectacular? For a family who tends to opt for free outings, $100 spent on a night out with the kids must be worth it .
Then we sat down inside the cosy theatre and the sparkle in their eyes (and the exclamations and the barrage of questions our 4 year old asked throughout the show) made us realise how important it is to share this mode of story-telling with them. And while we didn’t get a chance to see the show until its final week, we are writing this review to encourage more people to take the same risk and support your local talent.
“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms. The most immediate way in which a human being can share with another, the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Oscar Wilde.
Since their first show, Oklahoma in November 1978, the Beenleigh Theatre Group have been continuing to entertain the local community with gusto. The group has grown with the area which started as a small farming town, to the diverse community it is today.
BTG has faced many hurdles and still thrives in the face of the growing costs of production and operating a theatre. The group now entertains with four major productions (musicals/plays) each year plus other various concerts and festivals. BTG also run a Theatre School (JETS) for children and teens – many of the students being given the opportunity to perform in those shows.
Their most recent production did not disappoint. The venue is small, seating roughly 150 which made the experience all the more intimate. The BTG crew did an excellent job with costumes and stage props, the orchestra provided the atmosphere without a hitch and the cast did an engaging job of retelling a Disney classic. What really struck us was the vocal talent of the cast, in particular Belle, Mrs Potts, the Beast and Lumiere. So much more is felt in the retelling of a story like this experienced in 3D. We look forward to the next local production.
The Beenleigh Theatre Group relies on performance revenue, members, funding from government grants and partnerships, and their volunteers work tirelessly to complete the work for each show. Check their website for bookings to their next production Gypsy in November, or if you want more information about their past or future productions.