Disney India launched its live events operations in India today, with the announcement of the stage production Beauty and the Beast this October. In its inaugural year, the show will travel to Mumbai and Delhi between October and December. Produced with Indian talent, the production will be the first of its kind in the country.
"At Disney India, we are always thinking of ways in which to bring our audiences truly memorable world class entertainment experiences, and this is another example of that," said Siddharth Roy Kapur, managing director, Disney India. "Beauty and the Beast is a story that has resonated with millions of fans from around the world and we are sure it will do so in India as well", he added.
The theatrical shows are a way for Disney to introduce Indian audiences to the brand's immersive experiences. The other Disney brand that offers a similar experience is Disneyland but that is still a long way away from India.
The events will take place at the Dome in NSCI in Mumbai which seats around 2500 people and the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi. While Kapur refused to reveal details of the ticket pricing and the number of shows per city, he said that projections suggest that the initiative will recover money in the first year itself. The total cost of production and marketing for the October-December season will be around that of a medium budget film (Rs 35-45 crore). Apart from ticket sales, sponsorships and brand partnerships will form significant revenue streams says Kapur. The event is expected to draw not just children but families and even young adults he said since at the end of the day this is a great love story
Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film, Beauty and the Beast will be presented on the same scale as the productions on New York's Broadway and on London's West End. Having travelled to 28 countries since its first show in 1994, the musical will be developed locally, while retaining the original script and music. The production will be in English and last for a little over two hours.
Disney's creative team for includes Vikranth Pawar (Show Director and Creative Head, Live Entertainment at Disney India), Lesle Lewis (Music Direction), Terence Lewis (Choreography), Varsha Jain (Set Design), Gavin Miguel (Costume Design), Pallavi Devika (Hair & Make-up) and Suzanne D'Mello (Vocal Training).
Interestingly, Walt Disney Pictures is currently filming the live-action version of the fairy tale with Emma Watson (Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter films) and Dan Stevens (Mathew Crawley from PBC's Downton Abbey).