Beauty and The Beast
The Masque of Beauty & the Beast
Ages 4+ (no babies or toddlers permitted)
A fanciful tapestry of the theatrical enchantment retelling the ageless fairy tale for audiences of children of all ages, this production is over the years at UCT.
A widowed merchant lives in a mansion with his three daughters. Beauty, is the most lovely, as well as kind, well-read, and pure of heart; while the two elder sisters, in contrast, are wicked, selfish, vain, and spoiled. They secretly taunt Beauty and treat her more like a servant than a sister. The merchant eventually loses all of his wealth in a tempest at sea. He and his children are consequently forced to live in a small farmhouse and work for their living.
Later, the merchant hears that one of the trade ships he had sent off has arrived back in port, having escaped the destruction. Before leaving, he asks his children if they wish for him to bring any gifts back for them. The oldest daughters ask for clothing, jewels, and the finest dresses possible as they think his wealth has returned. Beauty is satisfied with the promise of a rose as none grow in their part of the country. The merchant, to his dismay, finds that his ship's cargo has been seized to pay his debts, leaving him penniless and unable to buy his children's presents.
During his return, the merchant becomes lost during a storm. Seeking shelter, he enters a dazzling palace. The merchant finds tables inside laden with food and drink, which seem to have been left for him by the palace's invisible owner. The merchant accepts this gift and spends the night there. The next morning, as the merchant is about to leave, he sees a rose garden and recalls that Beauty had desired a rose. Upon picking the loveliest rose he can find, the merchant is confronted by a hideous "Beast" which tells him that for taking his most precious possession, the merchant must die. The merchant begs to be set free, arguing that he had only picked the rose as a gift for his youngest daughter. The Beast agrees to let him give the rose to Beauty, but only if the merchant or one of his daughters will return.