Australian Premiere of the reimagined Beauty and the Beast headed for Sydney

As seen on the Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney has nabbed the Australian premiere of Disney’s musical theatre blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, which will open at the Capitol Theatre next year.

The production is currently playing on London’s West End before heading to Bristol and Ireland later this year. NSW Arts and Tourism Minister Ben Franklin is expected to announce the show’s arrival date in Sydney on Thursday morning after flagging a “major announcement” about an international production. He will be joined by Disney’s senior vice president and managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Kylie Watson-Wheeler.

Disney’s blockbuster musical Beauty and the Beast will have its Australian premiere in Sydney.
CREDIT:DISNEY

Government and theatre industry sources confirmed the show was Beauty and the Beast and said first auditions had already been held. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment on Wednesday night, and Franklin did not return messages.

Major musical theatre openings are hotly contested between NSW and Victoria; the Herald and The Age have previously reported former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian had personally intervened to secure the premiere of Broadway smash hit Hamilton for her state’s capital.

“They [Victoria] bid very hard and we pipped them to the post and I apologise if [Victorian Premier Daniel] Andrews is upset with me as a result,” Berejiklian said in 2019. The show was ultimately delayed by COVID-19.

Landmark cultural events such as this premiere are often secured after significant financial contributions from state governments and their respective tourism bodies, in this case Destination NSW.

The original Australian production of Beauty and the Beast opened in Melbourne in 1995 before moving to Her Majesty’s Theatre in Sydney in 1996, a few years before the theatre closed. It is now a carpark.

The current West End production is a reimagining of the classic tale with a younger and more diverse cast, and is due to finish its run in September.


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