Disney to go all out to promote 'Beauty and the Beast' theatrical presentation in Delhi with twelve shows

NEW DELHI: For the first time, audiences will witness on stage the presentation of Walt Disney’s ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ with eighteen Indian actors and around one hundred other dancers.

The performance is set to take place at the indoor Thyagaraja Stadium which had been built in south Delhi for the Commonwealth Games 2010. There will be twelve shows from 19 December.

The shows are being presented by the Disney Theatrical Group, which marked its entry with this performance in Mumbai with 27,000 people seeing it in ten shows.

The 18 artistes were selected from more than 8,000 entrants from all over the country in 1000 physical auditions.

Disney India Managing Director Siddharth Roy Kapur told indiantelevision.comthat it had taken six months of hardcore rehearsals and three months of auditions before the first show in Mumbai.

Asked why Disney Theatrical Group had come to India twenty years after its debut on Broadway, he said that finding the right kind of venues and the requisite trained talent pool had been a major constraint.

When it was pointed out that reality shows had shown there was ample talent in the country, he said they were not suitably trained and were raw. There was no professional theatre group in India for English productions.  

He said that Disney will go 360 degrees to promote and publicise the Delhi event, with the use of social media, newspapers, television, and websites. In addition, there may be small events to publicise the event.

Declining to give any figures, he said the amount to be spent on publicity and marketing would be very small in comparison to the cost of putting up the show.

He said that the decision of taking this show to other cities, or doing other plays, would be decided after a full assessment sometime next year.

Speaking at the press meet, he said this was a new genre for Disney in India and was a very large production in an effort to take Disney ‘live to the people’.

Disney Theatrical Group had first come on Broadway in 1994 and over 128 million had seen its performances there.

He said it was a coincidence that the first production on Broadway had also been ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and it had run for thirteen years with 35 million people in 28 countries having seen it.

Meher Mistry who plays Belle, Edwin Joseph (who belongs to Delhi and is from St Stephens College) and plays the Beast, and Pooja Pant who is also from Delhi presented songs on stage. Others present included the eminent music director Leslie Lewis. The choreography has been done by Terence Lewis while Varsha Jain has done the exquisite set design.

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