Attention all panto lovers! This year’s Lichfield Garrick production, Beauty & the Beast, is just weeks away and is set to be a real Christmas cracker!
The show featuring stunning sets, sensational song and dance numbers, larger than life characters and plenty of audience participation is again being staged by the Garrick in partnership with Paul Hendy and Evolution Productions.
And back for his eighth year is resident Dame and Garrick legend Sam Rabone as Madame Fillop.
“I'm thrilled to be back for my eighth season at the Garrick, and after a short gap, back with my old partner in crime Ben Thornton,” said Sam.
“Bringing Ben back means one thing and one thing only... it's time to bring on the slosh! Yes, slosh will be back, and we're going to be messier than ever before.
“We've got a super cast of West End stars... and Ben! We've got some amazing singers this year... and Ben! And I can't wait to be in the room with all the talent that Lichfield Garrick has found for you this year.... oh, and Ben, of course!”
Ben, a brilliant performer, is delighted to be back in the city after three ‘wonderful years’ here in panto from 2016.
Playing comic character Philippe, he is looking forward to reigniting his stage partnership with Sam and a delivering a riot of laughs.
“If you are having fun with the show the audience will as well,” he said.
Beauty & the Beast boasts an excellent cast including Kat Chatterton (Harry Potter Studio Tour, Pippin, Smile) as Belle, Natalie Pilkington (Six the Musical) as the Fairy, Melad Hamidi (Les Misérables) as the Prince/Beast, Sarah Annakin (Magic Mike Live London, Hormonal Housewives) as the Enchantress, and Jacob Kohli (Camelot in Concert, The King & I, Kathy & Stella Solve A Murder) as Danton.
“I love Belle’s story,” said Kat. “She helps people around her to grow. The beast is tortured but grows to love and that is down to Belle.”
Kat, who hails from North Yorkshire, is happy to be working in Lichfield. “The theatre is gorgeous, light and modern and everyone is really friendly here. It is lovely.”
Daniel Buckroyd, the venue’s Artistic Director who will also be directing this year’s production, said: “I love Christmas at the theatre - the joy that panto brings to so many families - and the show we’ve got lined up for Lichfield audiences this year promises to be our best yet.
“I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room with Sam, Ben and the rest of our amazing cast.”
Sam added: “Beauty & the Beast is a different show. “We have amazing singers from the West End and Ben and I riding along on their coat tails.
“It is very musical but with a lot of comedy. There is something for everyone. Come and see us at the Garrick.”
The show opens on Friday 24 November and runs through until Sunday 7 January 2024. Tickets are available now – you can purchase yours now on the Lichfield Garrick website (www.lichfieldgarrick.com) or from our Box Office on 01543 412121.