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Wales’ biggest Christmas panto line-up revealed

New Theatre Cardiff have announced a further FOUR stars for this year’s beast of a pantomime, Beauty and the Beast with Ben Richards, Danny Bayne, Adam C Booth and Stephanie Webber joining the cast of Wales’ biggest pantomime, which opens on Saturday 8 December.

After rising to fame on the ITV drama Footballers’ Wives Ben Richards scored high-profile television roles in Holby City, The Bill, Doctors and Hollyoaks and appeared in the feature films Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis opposite Jane Horrocks and the late Rik Mayal and Julie and the Cadillacs. No stranger to the stage, Ben has appeared in theatres across the UK and the West End with leading roles in Grease, Saturday Night Fever, The Full Monty, Little Shop of Horrors and Guys and Dolls, as well as the role of Tick in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre London, Bill Sykes in Oliver! at the Sheffield Crucible and UK tours of Dolly Parton’s musical9 to 5 and Rock of Ages, which played the New Theatre in 2014. Most recently Ben starred as the titular character in The Bodyguardopposite Beverley Knight at the Dominion Theatre, London, which broke Box Office attendance records. Ben will play the Beast in this year’s pantomime, a role he previously played in Beauty and the Beast in Nottingham last year.

Joining them as the arrogant local hunter vying for Belle’s affections, will be Danny Bayne who rose to fame winning the coveted role of Danny Zuko in the musical Grease at the Piccadilly Theatre from the ITV talent search Grease is the Word. Danny then went on to forge a successful career touring the UK as Corny Collins in Hairspray, reprising his role as Danny in Grease and starring as Tony Manero, the role also made famous by John Travolta, in Saturday Night Fever.

Starring as Benny will be Adam C Booth. A regular on Keith Lemon’s Sketch Show, his other TV appearances include Keith Lemon’s Lemon La Vida Loca, Pearly Gates (BBC), Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. Adam’s roles in theatre include Pepper in the West End production of Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, Les Misérables, West Side Story, Boogie Nights and Footloose.

In her first year as a panto baddie, Stephanie Webber returns for a third year to star as Deadly Nightshade. Cardiff born Stephanie graduated from the Arden School of Theatre, before going on to appear on television including BBC One talent search The Voice, where she received the fastest reaction from will.i.am upon hearing her spectacular singing voice.  She has since appeared in stage productions on land and sea and 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, Danny, Adam and Stephanie join Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas and Mike Doyle in this year’s must-see production packed full of hilarious comedy, audience participation, music, dance and special effects that will astound audience members as they follow the most beautiful fairy tale of them all. Will Belle fall in love with the selfish Beast before the final petal of the enchanted rose or will his selfishness cost him the love of the girl he loves and the fate of all who live in his enchanted castle?

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!”

With over 60,000 theatregoers attending the New Theatre pantomime each year, including last year’s record breaking Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, audiences are being encouraged to book as early as possible to secure seats.

And, with the New Theatre’s standing-order payment scheme, people can secure tickets today through the Box Office as normal and opt to spread the payment across the year at no extra cost.

Beauty and the Beast will burst on to the stage on Saturday 8 December and runs until Sunday 13 January 2019. Tickets are available from the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889 and newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.

The following Access Performances are available for Beauty and the Beast:

  • Audio Described 10 January 7pm, 12 January 2.30pm
  • British Sign Language 6 January 1pm
  • Captioned 5 January 2.30pm, 9 January 7pm
  • Relaxed 8 January 6pm