Disney’s Beauty and the Beast looks set to return to London’s West End in 2022, according to rumour amongst showbiz and theatre folk.
Last seen in London at the Dominion Theatre, where it ran from 1997 through 1999, a revival of the much-loved stage production has been on the cards since Emma Watson and Dan Stevens’ live-action remake grossed $1.2 billion at the box-office in 2017.
Multi-award winning composer Alan Menkin (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontos, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors) had let slip in an interview last year he’d been revisiting the show for a new production, with Disney finally confirming a UK & Ireland tour would begin in May 2021.
It’s rumoured the show will then head to London’s Prince Edward Theatre in 2022 after May Poppins completes her run. The Prince Edward Theatre makes sense given the Mouse House has had the run of the place with Aladdin and Mary Poppins over the last few years.
Beauty and the Beast features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton. This new UK production will see the original Broadway team reunite, led by director Robert Jesse Roth and choreographer Matt West.
Opening to critical reviews on Broadway in 1994, many thought Beauty and the Beast would be the last of the big splashy musicals, but like Les Miserables and much later Wicked, it was a hit with the general public and proved that a show didn’t need critical approval to be a success. Beauty and the Beast‘s spectacular success on Broadway, where it ran for over a decade, heralded in a new era of film-to-stage musicals such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins, Newsies, Billy Elliot, Tarzan and Aida.
Keep your eyes peeled for further announcements.