beauty

Authentic beauty and beast take stage in school show

Lumiere, played by Will Thompson, is part of an impressive looking lineup in Freyberg High School’s Beauty and the Beast.

David Unwin/Stuff

Lumiere, played by Will Thompson, is part of an impressive looking lineup in Freyberg High School’s Beauty and the Beast.

An epic array of costumes has ensured Freyberg High School’s Beauty and the Beast production looks every bit as good as the Disney film.

The Palmerston North school’s production this year runs from October 20-24.

The impressive costumes are owned by a Christchurch woman, but were made by Weta Workshop and make sure the young cast look the part.

About 120 students are involved in the show, including cast, orchestra and production. The orchestra started preparing in November and stage rehearsals started in February, before Covid-19 delayed things.

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Beauty and the Beast is on at Freyberg High School from October 20-24.

David Unwin/Stuff

Beauty and the Beast is on at Freyberg High School from October 20-24.

Twenty students from the school’s special education centre, the Craig Centre, are involved.

Kaea Rakatairi-Paul, 17, plays the lead role of the Beast and he said the cast were looking forward to finally performing after the Covid-19 delay.

“It’s coming together really well. It’s been an exciting time with all the rehearsals due to Covid.”

Rakatairi-Paul, decked out in his full beast costume for a dress rehearsal, said the work of the cast so far had been wonderful.

He has had other lead roles, including the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, but none as big as the beast, he said.

Bexi Hogan is playing the other lead, Belle.

Abbey Dodds, 17, is playing Babettee the feather duster and has adopted a French accent for the role.

“It’s been an amazing experience. It’s definitely been pushing my confidence, especially having to put on a French accent.

“I’ve loved every second of it. It’s made me feel more confident in everything.”

A ballet dancer, she has been in previous school productions, but has not had an important role such as Babette, so it was nerve racking initially.

Nina Kereama-Stevenson, 18, was dressed as a teapot to play cockney Mrs Potts and had enjoyed preparing for the role.

Brothers Mikaera and Terado Bassett are playing Gaston and Lefou, respectively.

Tickets are available from the school office and are $15 for adults, and $10 for students and children.

The show on October 21 will have two New Zealand Sign Language interpreters.

The show will this month features costumes designed by Weta Workshop.

David Unwin/Stuff

The show will this month features costumes designed by Weta Workshop.

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