PRINCESSES and Heroes is a show for the DVD generation.
People unfamiliar with the eight films from which the episodes were drawn may be puzzled by characters and events, but the enthusiastic response of children in the audience shows that they know the stories well.
For adults, the attraction of Princesses and Heroes is its breathtaking staging. The amazing acrobatic feats of the skaters had me open-mouthed in awe and the Feld production team have excelled themselves with the remarkable lighting and set pieces.
In the opening sequence, taken from Aladdin, a stall-holder in a Persian marketplace juggles fruit while standing still on his skates, followed by a swift pursuit of the title character by guards.
When Aladdin and Princess Jasmine get together with a little help from the magic lamp’s Genie, Aladdin lifts her repeatedly onto his shoulder in a brisk dance of happiness.
There were vocal gasps of delight in the other long sequence, from The Little Mermaid, when the story’s shift to beneath the sea was accompanied by streams of falling bubbles around the arena to represent the water.
And the dramatic burst of fire from the ice that accompanied the transformation of evil witch Maleficent into a dragon as she fought Sleeping Beauty’s rescuing prince was astonishing.
The costumes colourfully recreate those from the films, with songs from each story used to accompany the action.
Despite the title, heroes often make little or no appearance. Beauty and the Beast is represented by the rousing song Be Our Guest, with Belle serenaded by human candle Lumiere and a dozen cutlery sets, with the skaters’ attire including tall knives, forks and spoons, but no sign of the Beast.
The other tales represented are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, The Princess and the Frog and Tangled. As usual with Disney on Ice shows, Mickey and Minnie Mouse are hosts, accompanied by fairy Tinker Bell and Goofy.
DISNEY ON ICE: PRINCESSES AND HEROES
Presented by: Feld Entertainment
Venue: Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow (49212121)
Season: Today at 11am, 2.30pm and 6pm; tomorrow, at 10am and 1.30pm.