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Everything you need to know about 'Disney’s Beauty and the Beast' in the West End

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Is this home? Well, Disney's Beauty and the Beast has a new West End home at the London Palladium. For the first time in 25 years, the Disney musical invites you to be their guest for a wondrous musical theatre evening.

Beauty and the Beast follows a young woman named Belle as she tries to save her imprisoned father, and then finds herself stuck in the castle with animated kitchenware for company. While in her new surroundings, she must save all appliances, herself, and the Beast, before the final rose petal falls in the west wing, otherwise they’re affected by a witch's curse forevermore.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast tale has enchanted audiences for over 30 years. You may have seen the original 1991 Disney animation, the 2017 live-action adaptation, or you've even been fortunate enough to see Beauty and the Beast on stage. 2022 marks the hit musical’s return to London for the first time in 25 years. Enjoy a tale that's as old as time and see Beauty and the Beast at the London Palladium this summer.

From how to get Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tickets to when to see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, here's your ultimate guide to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in London.

Book Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tickets on London Theatre.

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What is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast about?

At the start of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, a witch places a potentially lifelong curse, hexing a castle and all its inhabitants. They’re transformed into household objects; cooks and cleaners are now teapots and feather dusters.

It’s only when Belle, a local ingénue, finds herself stuck in the castle that she learns of this awful curse. Belle grows fond of her new castlemates and strikes up a bond with the animated servants. She also falls for the Beast and they begin to spend a great deal of time with one another.

At the same time, there’s a rose in the west wing which loses a petal a day. Once the final rose petal falls, the curse will become irreversible. Can Belle save everyone and find her Beauty? Will they all be human again? See Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the London Palladium to find out more

Where is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast playing?

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is at the London Palladium. The London Palladium is a West End theatre located in the Oxford Circus area. The London Palladium typically hosts musicals throughout the summer and a Christmas pantomime.

How long is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

The Beauty and the Beast musical has a running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute interval. Beauty and the Beast is a two act musical.

What days is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast playing?

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast plays eight performances a week at the London Palladium. Evening performances are daily from Monday through Saturday. Matinee performances are on a Tuesday and Sunday. For the complete performance schedule and show times, please visit the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast page to learn more.

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When did Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiere?

The Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical premiered just two years after the 1991 film. The premiere took place as an out-of-town tryout in Houston, Texas, running from 28 November to 26 Dec. 1993. Clearly, there was some seasonal magic in the air, as Disney's Beauty and the Beast confirmed its Broadway premiere soon after.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on 18 Apr. 1994. The family-friendly musical ran for five years to 5 Sept. 1999, and then took a two-month break before transferring to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre for performances from 11 Nov. 1999 to 29 Jul. 2007.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast then came to the West End in 1997. The London production opened at the Dominion Theatre on 29 Apr. 1997, and ran for over two years to 11 Dec. 1999. Beauty and the Beast at the Palladium is the musical’s first London revival in 25 years.

Who wrote Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

Linda Woolverton wrote the story for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical. She’s an American screenwriter whose also worked on Disney stories like The Lion King and Mulan. As Woolverton adapted a pre-existing screenplay for the stage, there's few differences between the Beauty and the Beast film and the Beauty and the Beast musical.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast features original music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. Alan Menken’s worked on Disney musicals such as Newsies, Hercules and Aladdin, as well as musicals like Little Shop of Horrors and Sister Act. Tim Rice is also an award-winning composer, working on shows such as Chess, and Evita and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast cast

Courtney Stapleton plays Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the London Palladium. Stapleton previously starred in Dear Evan Hansen and Six in the West End. Shaq Taylor plays the Beast. He previously appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar and Girl from the North Country.

The Beauty and the Beast cast includes Gavin Lee as Lumiere, Tom Senior as Gaston, Sam Bailey as Mrs Potts and Nigel Richards as Cogsworth, Martin Ball as Maurice, Samantha Bingley as Wardrobe, Emma Caffrey as Babette, and Louis Stockil as Le Fou.

Richard Astbury, Sarah Benbelaid, Jake Bishop, Pamela Blair, Liam Buckland, Jasmine Davis, Matthew Dawkins, Autumn Draper, Daisy Edwards, Alyn Hawke, George Hinson, Jennifer Louise Jones, Brontë Lavine, Thomas-Lee Kidd, David McIntosh, Aimee Moore, Sam Murphy, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Emily Squibb, Grace Swaby, India Thornton and Rhys West make up the Beauty and the Beast ensemble.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Characters

Beauty and the Beast features a variety of larger than life characters you’ll wish you could have in your own home. Join the plates, cutlery, wardrobes, and grandfather clocks as they share their lives to Belle. Here’s the main characters in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to watch out for.

Belle: Belle is the "Beauty" in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She's a well-read, free-spirited young woman who is determined to live her own independent life and break away from what people expect of her. She runs to a castle in the hopes of saving her father and then finds herself trapped inside. During the story, Belle finds herself falling for the beast and learns to love again.
The Beast: The Beast didn't always look like this. He grew up as a wealthy prince and could have anything he wanted in a matter of moments. However, the prince was transformed into an ugly creature thanks to a witch who inflicted a curse upon him and the castle. He must earn someone's love before the final rose petal falls.
Gaston: Gaston is Disney's archetype of the ideal man. He possesses strong feelings for Belle, wishing to make her his wife. He struggles to believe that anyone should have Belle, and he's prepared to murder the Beast in order to get his own way. Gaston struggles to channel his aggression and often boasts about his muscular physique.
Maurice: Maurice is Belle father's and a village inventor. Most of the town think he's crazy for dreaming up unnecessary things, but Maurice is a dreamer. He's encouraged Belle to follow her own ambitions too, even if nobody else can see a vision.
Lumiere: Lumiere is an enchanted candelabra and is one of the main objects that helps Belle escape the curse. When the curse is lifted, it's revealed that Lumiere is a maître d'.
Cogsworth: Cogsworth is an enchanted grandfather clock and is one of the main objects that helps Belle escape the curse. When the curse is lifted, it's revealed that Lumiere is the household's chief steward.
Mrs. Potts: Mrs. Potts is an enchanted teapot and is one of the main objects that helps Belle escape the curse. When the curse is lifted, it's revealed that Lumiere is the household's head chef.

There's even more exciting characters to look out for in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. See household objects such as feather dusters and wardrobes speak, Mrs. Pott's teacup son Chip, and then join Gaston's comedic sidekick, Le Fou, as Gaston tries to rescue Belle. Disney's Beauty and the Beast may be set in a quiet village, but their inhabitants are definitely larger than life!

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Songs

Thanks to the Beauty and the Beast film and musical, you may already be familiar with some of the songs. Hear Belle’s wistful solo song, “Home”, and see the kitchenware come to life in “Be Our Guest.” Who can forget Mrs. Potts’s stand-out song, “Beauty and the Beast”? By the end of the show, all the Beauty and the Beast songs will be in your head.

Here’s the full list of Beauty and the Beast songs.

Act 1:

"Belle" — Belle, Gaston, Silly Girls, Ensemble
"Me" — Gaston, Belle
"Belle (Reprise)" — Belle
"Home" — Belle
"Home (Reprise)" — Mrs. Potts
"Gaston" — LeFou, Gaston, Silly Girls, Ensemble
"Gaston (Reprise)" — Gaston, LeFou
"Be Our Guest" — Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Ensemble
"If I Can't Love Her" — Beast

Act 2: "Something There" — Belle, Beast, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth
"Human Again" — Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Madame de la Grande Bouche, Babette, Cogsworth, Ensemble
"Beauty and the Beast" — Mrs. Potts
"If I Can't Love Her" — Beast
"A Change in Me" — Belle
"The Mob Song" — Gaston, Ensemble
"Home (Reprise II)" — Belle
"Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)" — The Company

What awards has Disney’s Beauty and the Beast won?

Like many Disney musicals, Beauty and the Beast wowed theatregoers and critics alike. The musical even impressed awarding bodies too, and Beauty and the Beast is a multi-award-winning musical. Find out the Tony and Olivier Awards held by Beauty and the Beast. The winning categories are in bold.

Tony Awards

Best Musical
Best Book of a Musical - Linda Woolverton
Best Original Score - Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical - Terrence Mann
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical - Susan Egan
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical - Gary Beach
Best Direction of a Musical - Robert Jess Roth
Best Costume Design - Ann Hould-Ward
Best Lighting Design - Natasha Katz

Olivier Awards

Best New Musical
Best Theatre Choreographer - Matt West
Best Costume Design - Ann Hould-Ward

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Major productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

The Disney musical’s entertained audiences all around the world. If you’re at a Disneyland location around the world, you may even see Belle, the Beast, and all the Beauty and the Beast characters in the parades. To date, the musical’s been played in over 40 countries. Check out the main productions of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast worldwide.

1993: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiered in Houston. The musical was a joint production between Theatre Under the Stars, a non-profit musical theatre company, and Disney Theatrical. Performances took place from 28 November to 26 Dec. 1993.

1994: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway. Performances ran at the Palace Theatre from 18 April to 5 Sept. 1999. The musical transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre with performances from 11 November to 29 Jul. 2007.

1995: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast started its first US national tour. The tour ran for four years.

1995: The Australian premiere of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened in Melbourne. Did you know that Hugh Jackman played Gaston in the musical?

1995: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiered in Toronto, Canada, and ran for two years at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

1997: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened in the West End. Performances ran at the Dominion Theatre from 29 April to 11 Dec. 1999.

1999: American audiences loved Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as the second US tour began, and also ran for four years.

2001: The third Disney’s Beauty and the Beast US tour began, running concurrently with the second tour.

2001: The first Disney’s Beauty and the Beast UK tour began, running for two years.

2010: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast toured for six years across the United States. Unlike the three previous tours, the fourth tour featured new costumes and set design.

2022: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened at the London Palladiums. Performances ran from 24 June to 17 September.

Onscreen adaptations of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

You may have previously seen Beauty and the Beast on screen, whether it’s at home or at the cinema. Find out more about the previous Beauty and the Beast films, and then see the stage production in London!

1991: The animated film of Beauty and the Beast is released in cinemas. The voice actors include Paige O’Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as the Beast, and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts.

2017: A live-action Beauty and the Beast is released in cinemas. Emma Watson played Belle in the film, joined by Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou, and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Audra McDonald and Ian McKellen represented the West End, playing the wardrobe and Cogsworth respectively.

How to get Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tickets

Don’t miss out on seeing the popular Disney musical, Beauty and the Beast, in the West End. Beauty and the Beast runs at the London Palladium in summer 2022. Book Beauty and the Beast tickets today to make sure you see the hit musical.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast tickets are available now. Book tickets to Disney's Beauty and the Beast on London Theatre today.

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Photo credit: Beauty and the Beast (Photos courtesy of Disney's Beauty and the Beast)

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