Beauty And The Beast—Plot Overview
Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740. It has been adapted many times. Broadly speaking, this is how the story goes:
On a cold winter’s night, an old beggar woman comes to a young, spoiled prince’s castle, offering him a single rose in return for shelter. The prince turns her away solely for her appearance. The old woman warns him not to be fooled by appearances, as true beauty lies within, only to be rejected again. She then transforms into a beautiful enchantress, turns the prince into a hideous beast and his servants into various household objects. She gives him the rose to use as an hour-glass. The only way he can break the spell is to learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal falls ten years hence.
Ten years later, a beautiful young girl, named Belle, makes her way into town one morning in order to get a book from the local bookseller. On the way she expresses her wish to live in a world like her books, full of adventure. The townspeople note her unparalleled beauty but find her love of books odd. Belle has also attracted the attention of Gaston, the town hero, who admires her only for her beauty.
Belle is not oblivious to how the townspeople views her. She voices her concerns about it to her eccentric father, inventor Maurice, who assures her that she is anything but strange. The two then put the finishing touches on his invention and Maurice heads off to an invention fair, promising to bring Belle back a rose, at her request. He loses his way in the woods and is attacked by a pack of wolves. After a headlong escape to safety, Maurice finds himself outside the Beast’s castle. He enters and sees a table laden with food in front of a warm fire. A household servant, who’s been turned into a cup and saucer, frightens him and he runs outside. Before climbing back on his horse, he sees a rose and picks it for Belle. Unfortunately, the Beast catches him and locks him away in the dungeon for trespassing.
Back in town, Gaston proposes to Belle, which she politely rejects. Maurice’s horse returns from the woods without Maurice and Belle realizes her father is in danger. She rides off to the woods to look for him. After escaping the wolf pack, she reaches the castle where she finds her father locked away in a dungeon. She asks the Beast to free Maurice and keep her instead, to which he agrees and Maurice returns to town. Belle is given a guest room and ordered by the Beast to join him for dinner. She mourns her situation, but Mrs. Potts and Madame de la Grande Bouche, an operatic wardrobe, attempt to cheer her up.
Back in town, at the local tavern, Gaston sulks at being rejected by Belle. His sidekick, LeFou, and the patrons, attempt to cheer him. Maurice rushes in claiming a Beast has Belle locked away. They laugh at him, but eventually Gaston formulates a plan. Back at the castle, the Beast grows impatient as Belle has yet to join him for dinner. After a shouting match between Belle and the Beast, he tells her if she cannot eat with him then she will not eat at all. In his quarters, he sulks and remembers the fate that awaits him. Belle soon becomes hungry and ventures into the dining hall, where the servants offer her dinner despite their master’s orders. They treat her to an amazing cabaret show.
After dinner, Belle gets a tour of the castle, courtesy of Cogsworth and Lumière. Her curiosity leads her to enter the West Wing, a place the Beast told her was forbidden. Mesmerized by a mysterious rose floating in a bell jar, she reaches out to touch it but, before she can, the Beast stops her and fiercely orders her to get out. Fearing for her life, Belle flees from the castle. Realizing his deadly mistake, the Beast rushes after her.
In the woods, Belle is attacked by the wolf pack, but this time the Beast comes to her aid. He is injured during the fight and collapses. Instead of taking the chance to run home, Belle helps him back to the castle. She cleans his injuries and, after a brief argument about whose fault this is, the Beast thanks her for her kindness and thus their friendship is born. Wanting to give her a thank-you gift, the Beast gives Belle his huge library, which excites her. She notes a change in the Beast’s personality and the servants note a change in their relationship. They express their hope of being human once more while Belle asks the Beast to accompany her to dinner that night.
Meanshile, Gaston, frustrated at Maurice’s apparent inability to locate the Beast’s castle, knocks him out and dumps him in the woods, where his is rescued by Agathe, an old beggar woman. Maurice finds his way back to the village and contronts Gaston in the tavern. Gaston persuades the townspeople that Maurice is mad and organizes for him to be locked up in the asylum car by Monsieur D’Arque, the asylum owner.
In the castle, the Beast and Belle attend a lovely dinner and dance together in the ballroom. The Beast, who plans to tell Belle he loves her, asks Belle if she is happy there, to which she responds positively, but notes that she misses her father. He offers her his Magic Mirror to view him. She sees that Maurice is in trouble again. Even though the Beast knows there are only a few hours left til the last petal falls from the rose, he allows Belle to go to her father.
Belle finds her father but ends up being locked in the wagon with him by Gaston and the townspeople, after she defended the Beast. She looks in the ’Magic Mirror’ and sees that a mob is heading towards the castle, led by Gaston, who has realized the Beast is his rival for Belle’s affections. Belle escapes and rides back to the castle to help.
At the castle, the servants are able to keep the lynch mob at bay, but Gaston breaks through and finds the Beast in his tower. He engages in a fight with him, mercilessly beating and taunting him. As Gaston moves in for the kill, Belle arrives. The Beast immediately turns on Gaston and is prepared to kill him, but spares his life after seeing the fear in his eyes. The Beast and Belle are reunited, but this reunion is cut short as Gaston fatally shoots the Beast. This act of violence causes Gaston to lose his footing and he falls to his death.
On the balcony, Belle assures the Beast he’ll live, but they both know she is helpless to save him. She begs him not to leave her because she has found home in his company. Despite this, he dies anyway. Belle sobs on his body and says she loves him, just before the last rose petal falls. A transformation takes place and the Beast becomes a prince once more. The palace servants also revert to human form and gather together in the palace ballroom to sing and dance in celebration.
Beauty And The Beast—Character List
Agathe / Enchantress —the beggar woman who cast the spell on the prince.
Babette—a saucy, enchanted feather duster.
Beast—a former prince who was cursed by an enchantress
Belle—Maurice’s beloved only daughter.
Cadenza— is the court composer who was transformed into a piano.
Chapeau—is one of the prince’s aides who was transformed into a coat rack.
Chef Bouche—the palace head chef who was transformed into a stove.
Chip—an inquisitive teacup who is also Mrs Potts son.
Clothilde—the village fishmonger and wife of Cogsworth.
Cogsworth—a tightly wound enchanted carriage clock, who is the head of the palace household.
Gaston—the town’s local hero and Belle’s unwelcome admirer.
Jean Potts —the absent-minded village potter and husband of Mrs Potts.
LeFou—Gaston’s dim-witted, servile sidekick.
Lumière—the French butler who was transformed into a candelabrum.
Madame de la Grande Bouche—an operatice diva who has been turned into an enchanted wardrobe.
Maurice—an inventor and Belle’s father.
Monsieur D’Arque—the creepy, scheming proprietor of the local asylum.
Mrs Potts—a warm-hearted, maternal, enchanted teapot.
Père Robert—the local chaplain in Belle’s village.
Sultan—the castle dog who was turned into a footstool
Three Silly Girls—are pretty young maids in the local town who openly swoon over Gaston.
Beauty And The Beast—Our Production
Rehearsals are well under way for Crickhowell High School’s version of this immensely popular Broadway musical. We’ll keep you posted with regular updates as we progress ever nearer to the final evening performances in Clarence Hall on 14th—17th March 2018. Watch this space!
Gallery Pictures from Rehearsals Week 1 – 3rd October 2017
Gallery Pictures from Rehearsals Week 2 – 10th October 2017
Gallery Pictures from Rehearsals Week 16 – 20th October 2017