It’s Christmas, it’s pantomime time!

Howard Chadwick who will be playing the dame in this year's Harrogate Theatre pantomime i
Howard Chadwick who will be playing the dame in this year's Harrogate Theatre pantomime i
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IT’S only a matter of weeks to the launch of one of the highlights of the district’s festive season.

Harrogate Theatre’s pantomime returns with the magical Beauty & The Beauty at Harrogate Theatre on Friday, November 25.

Running until Sunday, January 15, as always the emphasis in the new production will be on presenitng a truly traditional family pantomime free of celebrity guest stars or modern gimmicks.

Such is the popularity of this annual event that renowned actor Sir Ian McKellan praised last year’s show Dick Whittington as one of the best pantomimes he’d ever seen during a visit to Harrogate.

Beauty & The Beast celebrates a whole host of welcome returns including Harrogate favourite Tim Stedman who is back for his 12th pantomime and will be taking up the mantle of the dim-witted Mudd-elles.

Returning alongside Tim will be Howard Chadwick who will be playing Dame Sue the Sous Chef. Howard has appeared in numerous Harrogate Theatre pantomimes including Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Jack & the Beanstalk and Dick Whittington – this year’s will mark Howard’s second appearance as the Dame.

Other familiar faces include Polly Lister who will be playing the role of the Sorceress.

Polly appeared in last year’s pantomime as Fairy Bow-Bells and the Sultaness and has appeared in several other Harrogate Theatre pantomimes including Cinderella and Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

The theatre is also welcoming back David Westbrook as Baron BonBon who is also no stranger to the Harrogate Theatre stage.

In contrast, making their Harronate Theatre pantomime debuts will be Katy Dean in the role of Belle and Davis Brooks in the role of The Beast/Prince.

Returning for his fifth year as director will be Phil Lowe, whose recent directing credits include the hugely successful production of Fagin’s Last Hour (Harrogate Theatre & West End) and The BFG (Harrogate Theatre).

Phil has once again co-written this year’s pantomime with Harrogate Theatre’s Chief Executive David Bown. David has been an actor, writer and director in theatre and television in the UK and America.

His plays include; Ballads, Stand (Sunday Times Playwriting Award), Loaded (Peggy Ramsay PMA Award), Night and Day, The Wedding and a musical adaptation of the Carel Kapek play RUR. For children he has written Big Bad Wolf and a musical version of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The panto tale tells the story of Belle, a beautiful young woman, and the Beast, a handsome prince who has been placed under an evil spell for a hundred years.

If the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, the spell will be broken and he will return to his true self. But time is running out.

Packed with everyone’s favourite pantomime characters, this enchanting and spellbinding tale combines spectacular scenery, jokes galore, magic and sparkle – all of which makes Harrogate Theatre’s pantomime a festive family favourite throughout the region.

This year’s pantomime continues Harrogate Theatre’s commitment to ensuring that as many people as possible can access productions with the provision of audio described, touch tours, BSL interpreted and captioned performances.

Please note tickets are selling faster than ever this year.

graham.chalmers@ypn.co.uk

l To book your place at a cost of £11-£18 each (with concessions available), telephone the Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502 116 or book securely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk