A weekend out of town can be very soothing for a manic Londoner like me, so when I was invited to go up north to see a friend starring in Beauty and the Beast at the Barnsley Lamproom Theatre, I grabbed the opportunity. Five of us squeezed in the tiniest of cars, buzzing up the motorway to the beat of latest fave band Everything Everything.
We arrived in good time, 5.25 for a 7.15 start, and wanting to find a suitable bouquet for our performing friend, we went to suss out Barnsley’s best flower boutiques. Turns out there are none, and any shops we did find were shut. I kind woman directed us to Morrisons, where we spent a good twenty minutes picking out the least tacky bunch.
Battling with the ferocious wind, we walked through the town to the theatre. After stopping for a quick platter of snacks, we took our seats. We all studied music together at university so it felt familiar sitting waiting to watch a friend sing. The lights dimmed and a musky smoke began laboriously puffing across the stage.
Hannah came on, auburn hair glowing and dressed in a sweet blue dress, not dissimilar to a John Lewis school uniform, the prettiest Belle in Barnsley. I felt instantly at ease watching her effortlessly perform the familiar Disney melodies but with a renewed charm to the character that far surpassed the animation. To our left a single red rose sat, brooding in its own melancholy. Gradually as the night went on the petals fell, with perfectly ridiculous comic timing much to the audience’s delight. The chorus pranced about, everyone just seemed pleased to be taking part. It wasn’t just Hannah we were there to watch, this production was quite a family affair... her enviously sophisticated mum as the wardrobe and her hunky cousin as the handsome villain, Gaston. Clearly theatrical talent is something this family don’t lack!
A buffet greeted the hungry cast members and guests, exhausted from the day’s events we all left to drive back to Hannah’s house, our gorgeous accommodation for the night. After some much needed gossip we retired to bed, dreaming of talking clocks and dancing candlesticks.