FAIRY STORY ON ICE

'Beauty and the Beast On Ice' comes to the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline.
'Beauty and the Beast On Ice' comes to the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline.
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A TRADITIONAL fairy story is coming to the Dunfermline stage this month, with a twist in the tale - it’s performed on ice.

The much-loved story, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to the Alhambra Theatre from October 17 to 22 offering audiences the chance to be enchanted and mesmorised by the incredible performances of the Russian Ice Stars.

The stage will be transformed into an ice rink where the Russian skaters can re-tell the traditional story in their own way complete with good music, ice dance and spectacular feats.

The Wild Rose production, which has toured at venues around the world, comes to Dunfermline for its only Scottish dates on its current tour.

Colin Angus, producer with Wild Rose Ltd., explained that the Russian ice stars have been performing similar shows in the UK for almost 20 years.

The idea started at the Sunderland Empire, where Colin was managing director at the time.

He and his team wanted to offer something different at Christmas time apart from the usual panto.

Colin explained: “We put our heads together and decided why not do two shows and call it a Christmas season. So we’d start wtih a panto for four weeks and then straight away for a couple of weeks do a theatrical ice show.

“To that end we approached the Russian skating companies and things went from there.

“We recreate an ice rink on the stage, but given the space limitations it’s a lot smaller than the rinks the skaters would usually perform on.

“It means it’s harder for the skaters.

“Skating in such a small space is one thing that’s unusual and difficult in what we do.

“Seeing what we were doing, a number of other theatres expressed an interest and asked if we could do it for them.

“Year on year we started touring in the UK and have taken the productions to other countries too.”

The theatrical ice show is full of romance, tragedy, drama and magic as the beautiful Belle falls in love with the Beast, breaking the spell on the cursed prince.

“It’s a faithful recollection of the classic Beauty and the Beast story,” says Colin.

“It’s very colourful and has a great musical score specially written for the show.

“I think a lot of people enjoy the smoothness and almost majestic nature of ice skating.

“People like the elegance of it.

“With the spins and jumps added to the ice dancing and music, by the time you put it all in the mix it ends up as something that a lot of people see as magical.

“It’s suitable for the whole family from the age of three to 103.”

Since Wild Rose began its ice shows the company has performed titles including Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, Cirque du Glace and of course Beauty and the Beast.

Colin said: “We’re doing just three weeks in the UK and then the company go on to Sao Paulo in Brazil.

“It’s a different title they will perform there as the sets and costumes have already gone.

“They are going by sea in two large containers so had to go on ahead.

“The company will then be back in the UK in December and carry on touring until April.

“The production we’re sending to Dunfermline was acually in Sao Paulo last year and it’s also played in Hawaii.

“Three years ago we took them there to the Blaisdel Arena - it’s the venue from which the first ever television satellite broadcast was made, Elvis Presley’s ‘Aloha’ concert.”

But surely one of the trickiest parts of bringing an ice show to a theatre rather than an ice rink is that you have to create the ice on which to skate.

Colin added: “Because we have been doing it for so long the tech team have become very expert at it.

“It has to be built up layer by layer.

“It’s now a tried and tested operation and as I say because our tech team are expert at it, just give us 36 hours and we’ll have an ice rink!”

>> Beauty and the Beast On Ice is at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline from October 17-22.