Four new stars have been cast in Wales’ biggest pantomime, New Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast – Alys Jones reports.
Stephanie Webber, Ben Richards, Danny Bayne and Adam C Booth are joining Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas and Mike Doyle for the show, opening on Saturday 8 December.
Over 60,000 theatregoers attend the New Theatre pantomime each year, including last year’s record breaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and audiences are being encouraged to book early to secure seats.
Cardiff’s own Stephanie Webber plays her first baddie, Deadly Nightshade, as she returns for a third year to the New Theatre. After graduating from the Arden School of Theatre, Stephanie appeared on BBC One’s The Voice, where she received the fastest reaction from will.i.am upon hearing her spectacular singing voice. She has since starred opposite David Hasselhoff as Mimi the Mermaid in Peter Pan at the New Theatre and starred in the title role of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs last year.
Ben Richards is no stranger to this story as he reprises his role from Nottingham last year as the Beast. As well as many theatre roles, you may also know him from his television roles in Holby City, The Bill, Doctors and Hollyoaks or the feature film Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis opposite Jane Horrocks and the late Rik Mayall.
The Beasts’ rival, an arrogant hunter pursuing Belle, will be played by Danny Bayne. He rose to fame after winning ITV’s Grease is the Word, becoming Danny Zuko in the musical Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Adam C Booth takes on the role of Benny. As well as TV credits including Keith Lemon’s Sketch Show, Keith Lemon’s Lemon La Vida Loca, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, Adam C Booth was Pepper in the West End production of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, and has appeared in Les Misérables, West Side Story, Boogie Nights and Footloose.
Grant McFarlane, general manager of the New Theatre said: “I’m delighted that the New has secured what looks likely to be the UK’s biggest line-up for this year’s Beauty and the Beast. We’ve got just enough space for them all backstage, but if sales so far is anything to go by, we may not have enough space for everyone who wants to come and see it!”
All audiences are invited to join the cast on their fairytale journey, with several access performances. Audio Described performances will take place on 10th of January at 7pm, and 12th of January at 2:30pm. A British Sign Language performance is showing on 6th January at 1pm. Captioned performances are available on 5th of January at 2:30pm and 9th of January 7pm. A relaxed performance is also available on 8th of January at 6pm.
For details or to book tickets, visit the website or phone 029 2087 8889.
Beauty and the Beast is a must-see production filled with comedy, audience participation, music, dance and special effects. Will Belle fall in love with the selfish Beast before the final petal of the enchanted rose falls, or will his selfishness cost him love and the fate of all who live in his enchanted castle?