This year’s Face2Face production, Beauty and The Beast, had everything you’d expect from a professional company: stunning costumes, bold characters, impressive scenery and spine-tingling music. The production packed a punch – and a sparkly one at that.

The Holroyd Community Theatre was the perfect venue for the performance. I was welcomed by an attentive front of house team, who were keen to make my experience a positive one. The Theatre’s foyer is an excellent space – plenty of room, and I hear a ‘gorgeous view’. I will have to come back in the daylight to check that out!

As the performance started, I could feel the excitement in the air. Not just for the production, but in anticipation of how this new theatre would house all things artistic. The director had cleverly chosen to use a tune-up track to give the illusion that there was a live orchestra. This also allowed the audience to finish their conversations and prepare to watch the performance.

Beauty and The Beast tells the story of a young prince turned Beast and a young girl who feels like she ‘doesn’t fit in’. The role of Belle was played by Ella – one to watch in my opinion. Ella’s voice was stunning, clear and full of texture. This, married with her excellent acting ability was simply wonderful to watch.

As the performance progressed we met characters like the chauvinistic Gaston, the Silly Girls and the people’s favourites: Lumiere and Cogsworth. Each performer used excellent physicality to deliver a characterful performance that was animated – and above all, watchable. I particularly enjoyed Lumiere’s commitment to her character and comedic timing. She worked extremely well alongside Cogsworth -who was equally entertaining. Their connection on stage was infectious.

The stand out musical number had to be ‘Gaston’ with nearly every member of the cast on stage, singing and dancing. This song came to a crescendo with the whole cast performing a soft shoe tap dance, in time, whilst singing. Wow!

It was such a pleasure seeing Face2Face performing Beauty and The Beast at The Holroyd Community Theatre. The amount of talent and enthusiasm on stage was incredible. Vocally it was superb and the direction and choreography on point, current and perfect for a large ensemble.

Face2Face seriously know how to get the best out of their students. With this level of training so early on in their careers, success is almost definite.

I cannot wait to see what Face2Face delivers next – with The Holroyd Community Theatre as their home, I am sure that they will continue to raise the bar.

James Williams

West End Producer and Theatre Owner