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Beauty and the Beast tour issues statement following departure of director Rob Roth

Matt West will now direct the production

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast has issued an update to its creative team.

The production has stated that Matt West, who choreographed the original Beauty and the Beast, will now also direct the piece, which is set to open this summer.

The news comes as original director Rob Roth steps aside from the production, following a private email he sent supporting Broadway producer Scott Rudin (not involved in Beauty and the Beast) and commenting on a video posted by Karen Olivo was made public.

Rudin is under intense criticism after a detailed Hollywood Reporter article on his behaviour was published. He has since publicly stated that he intends to "step away" from his productions, including The Book of Mormon and To Kill a Mockingbird.

It appears that Disney has been quick to act in finding Roth's replacement, stating that: "Following Rob Roth's decision to step aside as director, Disney Theatrical Productions is pleased to announce that Matt West, original choreographer and longtime member of the Disney Theatrical family, will direct and choreograph the brand-new production of Beauty and the Beast which launches its UK and Ireland tour in Bristol this August."

Beauty and the Beast has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, and is based on the award-winning animated film of the same name. The piece follows a young woman who stumbles upon a petulant prince cursed to resemble a beast unless he can find true love.

The Olivier Award-winning musical had its UK premiere at the Dominion Theatre in 1997, while the show's Broadway run lasted from 1994 to 2007 (the tenth-longest running production in Broadway history).

The tour will open at Bristol Hippodrome in late August, with tickets on sale now.

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