‘Beauty and the Beast and other Lovers of the Rose’ has enchanted sell-out audiences in theatres, arts centres and festivals (perhaps most memorably, in a summer rose garden in a Welsh castle). This energetic, compelling and accessible performance, with its rich and alluring musical underscoring, and flexible production, is perfect for programming for adult audiences in venues ranging from theatres and art centres, to village halls, historic houses and rose gardens.
World-renowned performance storyteller Ben Haggarty, and Irish musician-composer Sherry Robinson make a sortie into the unfathomable mysteries of the heart, and lure their audiences into the rich imagery of a fairytale landscape.
An unashamedly romantic exploration of the intoxication and brutality of love, lust and betrayal, it draws together comedic games in paradise, a broken vow of chastity, a reunion in death, and culminates in an extraordinary retelling of an seemingly familiar fairytale for grownups. Find out what really happened that night in the forest, when the merchant lost his way…
Artist fees are in the region of £600, plus expenses. Tour fees can be negotiated.
Beauty & the Beast is in permanent repertoire, but as the musician is resident in Ireland, the show needs to be programmed in blocks, rather than as dispersed one-off events. Please contact us to discuss the show’s availability in autumn 2010 and in spring and summer 2011.
Previous performances include at: The Barbican Centre, London; The Unicorn Theatre, London; The King of Hearts, Norwich; St Donats Arts Centre; Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival
and Bangor Fable Fest.
Press (for Ben Haggarty)
‘Haggarty tells his stories with enormous relish and gusto.’
‘Haggarty is a commanding presence comfortable in the epic style…strong, in harmony with the speech of his body...’ The Times
‘.. and what a story this one was – it unravelled itself mischievously in Haggarty’s quietly skilful telling’
The New Statesman
‘He knows how to harness the audience’s imagination offering up the story’s epic twists and turns in a way that animates them without over selling them…Haggarty’s telling is an adroit mixture of the imposingly epic and the reassuringly rhythmic, tempered by a twinkle…’
Dominic Maxwell, The Times
‘I was spellbound - I don't use the word lightly - as Ben turned the austere lecture theatre around us into a flickering cave of wonder… If you have a chance to hear the tales which have shaped the dreams of humankind, tales of the gods and monsters that haunt us still, then sit down and listen…’
Erica Wagner, The Times
A master of improvisation and renowned for his playful and energetic performances, Ben Haggarty is a world-class performance storyteller, whose work charms, delights and subverts audiences across the English-speaking world.
Having been trained in mime and theatre direction, and apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State, Ben became a central figure in the re-visioning of storytelling as a contemporary performing art in the UK. He co-founded the Company of Storytellers, with fellow members Hugh Lupton and Sally Pomme Clayton; created the Crick Crack Club; co-founded Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, and is a promoter, programmer, and a much sought after director and trainer.
Ben has performed in venues ranging from caves to the Carnegie hall. He works in theatres, art centres, festivals, museums and galleries across the UK, the USA, Canada and Northern Europe, and has featured as guest storyteller representing Britain, in over 45 international storytelling festivals in 23 countries. Ben’s performances, including ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Mr Sandmann’ ‘Midir and Etain’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and his programmes of ‘Fairytales for Grown-ups’ have earned him international acclaim.
Ben is the official storyteller with Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and Honorary Professor of Storytelling at the Berlin University of the Arts (UDK). His extraordinary graphic novel, MeZolith, was published in April 2010, by David Fickling Books.
With a background in performing arts, Sherry Robinson is a musician and composer whose sensitivity for the human response to narrative gives rise to the exquisite drama and subtle emotion of her music.
From the 1980s to 90s Sherry worked as a musician with singer-songwriters, performance artists, poets, dancers and actors, in numerous London based galleries, theatres & alternative spaces including Whitechapel, Riverside and Chisenhale galleries. She was a member of London Musicians Collective; she performed in bands; worked with improvised music, and in ensembles of folk traditional music, from the British Isles, Scandinavia, France and Latin America.
Sherry's work with performance storytelling began in earnest in 1996, when she formed a partnership with performance storyteller Xanthe Gresham, which led to 10 years of collaborative work, devising music for myths, legends, epics, folk tales and riddles, for performances in festivals, schools, theatres, museums, galleries and libraries throughout England, Wales and Ireland. Sherry first worked with Ben Haggarty to create and perform 'Beauty and the Beast' in 2002, with the performance premiering at Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival. In the mid 2000s Sherry worked as a musician for Playback Theatre and for a number of installation artists. She worked with storyteller Hugh Lupton composing music for his piece 'Song Speak', and recorded with Nick Hennessey on his CD 'A Rare Hunger'.
‘Beauty and the Beast and other Lovers of the Rose’ has been performed in black box studio theatres, village halls, castles, museums and rose gardens. Production is highly flexible and if any of the stated technical requirements present a difficulty or query, then please do contact us.
Minimum get-in (prior to house opening): 2 hours
Performance length:The performance is in two halves of approximately 50 minutes each, plus interval. (A post-show ‘meet the artists’ session is also available, if required).
Interval Yes, 15 – 20 minutes
Target audience: Adult
Performance area: minimum dimensions: 5m width, 4m depth, 3m headroom.
Set: The performance should be in front of black drapes. If these aren’t not available, then free standing supports and fire-retardant drapes can be provided be the artists.
The musician will require a plain wooden chair, or similar.
Lighting: There are no lighting cues within the performance. If theatre lighting is available, two lighting states are required – a preset and a general performance state (a warm wash, with a back light, or standing lamp so the musician can read her music).
In venues without theatre lighting, then it is ideal if the performers are lit, while the audience are in relative darkness. If necessary a basic 4-lamp portable lighting rig can be provided, which the artists will transport and erect - provided an additional member of staff can be accommodated overnight (twin room with one of the artists).
Sound: In smaller venues (up to approx 180 seating capacity) the performance (spoken word and music) can be performed acoustically.
In larger venues, where audience capacity and venue size/acoustic demand full amplification, requirements are as follows, and a sound technician will be required:
1 lavalier type radio microphone for Ben
2 standing microphones for musician