Here, the production’s director, Emily, chats to the girls about their experiences of being a part of the show.
Tell us a little bit about about yourselves. Who are you, what do you enjoy, and when did you become involved with Playbox?
Belle: My name is Belle, I am 10 years old and I live with my two brothers, one sister and two dogs! I like singing, dancing, acting, cheerleading and gymnastics. I also love animals, and want to be a vet when I am older (after I have had my successful career in Musical Theatre first of course!). I am on my third term of Musical Theatre with Juliet and I really look forward to Wednesdays_
Izzy: I am Izzy and I’m 9 years old. I love mostly everything but here are my favourites; art, acting, cooking, tennis and capoeira. Almost 3 years ago I moved from Scotland to Warwick and I was very happy to have found Playbox Theatre near us. I started doing Musical Theatre and Circus training right after we moved to the area.
Matilda: I am Matilda and I started acting at Playbox when I was 2 years old! Playbox is lots of fun and it’s one of my favourite things to do in my spare time.
You were invited to share the role of Petite Beauté (Little Beauty) in Playbox’s special Christmas production – how did you feel when you heard this news?
Belle: I was so excited when my mum told me that I had been invited to play the role. I truly felt honoured that I had been chosen. I was so thrilled to be offered the chance to be a part of such a beautiful play, and was especially excited to play Little Beauty (although I would have very happily played Little Beast too!)
Izzy: When I heard I was invited to be Little Beauty I was jumping up and down. A couple days later when I heard I was in Beauty and the Beast, I realised I was in a real show! I really could not believe it, I was so happy.
Matilda: I was VERY excited when I heard I could play Little Beauty, and I immediately said YESSSSS!!!
How did you feel on the first day of rehearsal, and what was the rehearsal like?
Belle: I felt lots of emotions on the first day. I was nervous and excited. We learnt the main number which is centred around Little Beauty’s birthday. I felt confident that I would be able to pick up the dance steps but really wanted to do the very best job I could, so came home and practised straight away to ensure that the dance was in my head. I loved meeting the rest of the cast and especially the other Little Beauties.
Izzy: On my first day of rehearsal I was shaking all the time listening to every word you were saying. The rehearsal was amazing I enjoyed every minute, some bits were a little challenging but I practised and practised and soon got the hang of it.
Matilda: I was a tiny bit nervous, but everyone there was so nice to me, and by the end of the day I was feeling very happy. In the rehearsal we had to learn lines, a very tricky dance, and when to come on and go off stage. Although it was quite hard, it was so much fun.
You were working alongside a much older cast – what did you think about this?
Belle: I saw this as an opportunity to learn, and by the end of the run I really felt part of the Playbox family outside of Musical Theatre. The cast made me feel very welcomed and I even learnt some gymnastic skills from some of the girls. The cast were so gracious to me and really took care of me.
Izzy: I actually found it quite fun that I was with a much older cast. And it really didn’t matter that I was with an older cast, I learned a lot from them.
Matilda: I loved working with the older ones and watching them rehearse their parts. I learned lots and they became really good friends with loads of them.
Your costume was really lovely! What were the costume fittings like?
Belle: The first time I saw my costume, I really loved it! The costume team were so nice and checked I was comfortable in the dress and that I could perform all my dance steps in it. They also really helped me with my hair as my mum is not very good at that!!
Izzy: It was really cool to try out lots of different dresses. And the dresses were all so beautiful.
Matilda: It was very exciting getting my costume fitted and the costume ladies were so nice. The dress was beautiful and I loved wearing it – I felt like a princess!
How did you feel at your opening performance?
Belle: My opening performance was magical, exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measures. Beauty and the Beast was my first production with Playbox and my first proper acting show. I was supposed to be in a production of Annie but it got cancelled the night of the dress and tech due to Covid. Playing this role in this show made up for that and reminded me how much I really do love performing. I felt so happy to be part of something so special and taking my bow with the rest of the cast at the end of the show was something I will always remember.
Izzy: I was nervous, but when I went on stage it was truly amazing. To see lots of people looking at me gave me power.
Matilda: I was flabbergasted and my heart was racing, but it was the experience of a lifetime and I smiled my face off!
What was your favourite thing about being involved in the production?
Izzy: To be on stage and to dance and be free! And to act Little Beauty of course.
Matilda: I loved making lots of friends and having so much fun during the rehearsals.
What are you currently working on, or looking forward to, at Playbox?
Belle: I am chuffed to be part of Secret Garden and am enjoying rehearsals. I am also still loving Wednesdays with Juliet for MT and I am part of the Agency and have had some great opportunities through that. I would love to do more at Playbox if I could but we can’t fit any more in at the moment, but I hope to do more next year. I feel like I am at the start of my Playbox journey and am looking forward to the future as part of the Playbox family.
Izzy: I’m currently working on my LAMDA exam with Mary.
Matilda: I am working on our next Musical Theatre presentation which is The School Of Rock and 13 – I can’t wait to show it to everyone. I’m also looking forward to watching The Secret Garden at Easter – I’ve seen some rehearsals and it looks terrific. I’m going to audition for the next Young Production Company show which will be exciting.