Panto stars prepare to bring the magic to King George’s Hall, Blackburn with Beauty and the Beast

23 Nov 2017

PREPARATIONS are well underway for East Lancashire’s biggest family pantomime.
And audiences going along to King George’s Hall, Blackburn, can look forward to a unique show which will be being performed for the first time.
Beauty and the Beast has many of the characters which fans of the recent Hollywood movie or Walt Disney classic animation may recognise but, says director Roger Hannah, there is much stronger story running through the whole thing.
Roger, who spend several months writing the script, said: “Initially I was dubious about doing Beauty and the Beast as this year’s pantomime as it’s not a traditional panto subject.
“But the more I looked at it the more convinced about it I became. We have had to fit in many traditional elements but at the heart of it all is a great story.
“I think this show will explain a lot of questions youngsters may have had when watching the film.
“A good pantomime has to be credible and I’m so pleased with what have to bring to King George’s Hall this year. It’s going to be a cracker of a family show.”
Several cast members paid a flying visit to King George;’s Hall before starting rehearsals to take part in a workshop with East Lancashire youngsters.
Beauty and the Beast sees Kevin Simm, winner of The Voice in 2016, returning to Blackburn for his fifth Christmas, this time to play Prince Valiant/the Beast.
Kevin, from Chorley, said: “When they asked me about coming back I never had any hesitation. It’s a bit like getting back together with some old friends now as several of us have been in shows here before.
“Every year I have felt more confident about being in such a prestigious show and I think Beauty and the Beast is going to be really special.”
Newcomer Jennifer Greene will play Belle and Bryan Reid, a King George’s Hall favourite, returns as Bertha.
Beauty and the Beast is being staged by Stageworks Worldwide Production, the production company based at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and will feature a team of dancers, colourful costume changes, acrobatics and some dazzling special effects.
Article reproduced courtesy of Lancashire Telegraph