Bella Y La Bestia


Before television and cinematography were born under a blistering star on Broadway, blighting mankind forever with a series of curses akin to those unleashed by Pandora’s Box – not least of which being the unforgivable act of giving The Agoraphobic Reviewer cause for existence – plays ruled the theatrical roost.

Before the endless Hollywood cinematic remakes of his works became ubiquitous, Walter Disney was one of Britain’s foremost playwrights. Such heavyweights asThe Aristocats’ and ‘The Lady and The Tramp’ were famed the land over, from Riddlesworth up to Loch Skinnydippin. Many a renowned thespian trod the boards under the guise of Disney’s legendary characters. Sir Bruce Willis’ turn as Dumbo in the 17th Century caused Samuel Pepys to note, “Ne’er afore has a role been lived with such vigour and virtuosity. Willis did serve the text well and honour the Bard Disney greatly. Elephant? I nearly cried!”

Of late, however, one is more likely to see a sexy and lithe young actor of the day, such as Brian Blessed or Zack from ‘Saved By The Bell’, flashing across the screen as a revamped Pinocchio; or Angelina Jolie as an oversexed and pornified Ariel, ‘The Little Mermaid’.

It was with joy in my heart and a lazy lob-on in my pocket, therefore, that Old Rope braved the Argentine autumn and the Bicentenario crowds, to watch ‘Bella y La Bestia’. Renowned as one of Sir Walter’s latter day masterpieces, “ByB” has been returned to the stage by the Royal Disney Theatre Company. And it’s about bloody time too.

Since Old Rope cannot make head nor tail of the fluid Porteno Spanish spoken here, I may as well not have seen it, thus ideally placing me to review it on these pages. Besides, I slept through four of the five Acts.

The play centres around the titular Bella, a scabrous and grotesque hag who likes to have sexual relations with animals, and Bestia a Geordie man who believes he is quite simply the “best here”. After much dicking about talking to the furniture (it talks back, who knew!) the two get on like a house on fire, before literally setting the house on fire. As the timbers turn to cinders and the crockery weeps for its shattered children, Bella clambers aboard Bestia and rides him the rude way, howling like a banshee as they frug on the talkative rug before the house collapses in on the star-crossed lovers. Warning: Plot Spoiler in the preceding paragraph.

I give this play one B&B (Bed and Breakfast)


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6 Responses to “Bella Y La Bestia”

  1. dangerousmeredith Says:

    sounds like marvellous stuff!

  2. johnlebaptiste Says:

    “Best here”. Nyuk nyuk.

    When you go to the theatre Old Rope do you have those little binoculars on a stick?

    My favourite Sir Walter Scott play is ‘The Aristomensch’, though the whole kristallnacht bit was in pretty poor taste.

  3. oldrope Says:

    Yes, very excessive. But very moving at the same time, the way that poor lad swept up the glass the next morning.

    As for your personally invasive question, here is a photograph of me at the theatre using my prefered visual aid:

  4. johnlebaptiste Says:

    How dare you provide a link to a picture of Cock-Eye Greunzberg on this website! After everything he said about my whelk exhibition!

  5. oldrope Says:

    I believed his comments regarding the poor level of curation and the somewhat shoddy display techniques (I’m not being fucking funny, but that business with the tweasers, the homeless woman and your penis is no way to ‘consume’ art) were broadly accurate

  6. johnlebaptiste Says:

    It is the only way to consume art, and one of the better ways to consume birdseed.

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