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Full Cast Announced For BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Panto at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre

The pantomime officially reopens the city centre venue in December.

Full Cast Announced For BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Panto at Liverpool's Epstein Theatre

Family favourite Beauty And The Beast will entertain audiences at The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this Christmastime - and the full cast has now been announced.

The pantomime officially reopens the city centre venue in December following last week's announcement that the Hanover Street theatre is now under new management.

Television actor and West End performer Ben Richards will lead the cast as Gaston. He is best known for his roles in Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives, Holby City and The Bill.

He will be joined on stage by Lauren McCrory as Belle; Kelly Sweeney as Fairy Rose; Lewis Devine as French Frank; Jamie Greer as Potty Polly; James Lacey as Madame Botox; and Benjamin Keith as the Beast.

Beauty And The Beast runs at The Epstein Theatre between Thursday 16 December 2021 and Sunday 9 January 2022. Tickets are priced from £15 and are on sale now.

Please note, there are no performances on Christmas Day (Saturday 25 December), Wednesday 5 January, or Thursday 6 January 2022.

Beauty And The Beast is sure to wow this Christmastime with a tale of love and kindness. Audiences will go on an exciting adventure during the family friendly pantomime. This is the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast. Will the Beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after?

The Epstein Theatre has a new management team at the helm - Epstein Entertainments Ltd is a joint venture between Liverpool producers Bill Elms, Artistic and Communications Director; Chantelle Nolan, Artistic and Operations Director; andRegal Entertainments Ltd Company Director Jane Joseph.

The theatre will retain the same name and continue to run as a variety venue with a mixed programme of entertainment. The pantomime will be the first live performances in the venue since it closed its doors in March 2020 as part of the Government national Covid-19 lockdown.

Beauty And The Beast will be directed by Jane Joseph and produced by Regal Entertainments Ltd.

Ben Richards will lead a talented cast of performers. Ben is a successful West End leading man and television and film actor. His extensive theatre career includes the roles of Kenickie in the original West End cast of Grease; Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium; Skye Masterson in Guys And Dolls, for which he was nominated for a TMA Award for Best Actor In A Musical; Tick/Mitzi in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert at London's Palace Theatre; Franklyn Hart in the original UK production of 9 To 5 The Musical; and the UK tour of Rock Of Ages playing Stacee Jaxx. His most recent theatre performance was opposite Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre, London.

His film credits include Relationships (pilot); Monsoon Tide; Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis; and Julie And The Cadillacs. Ben is probably best known for his regular television roles in Footballers' Wives, The Bill, and Hollyoaks.

Lauren McCrory will play Belle. She is no stranger to panto having played Cinderella in both the Curtis Productions show and the Odeon Cinemas version. She graduated from Performers College in 2019. During lockdown she qualified as a Personal Trainer but is very much looking forward to getting back on stage.

Kelly Sweeney will play Fairy Rose. After studying at Liverpool's Rare Studio, Kelly went on to graduate from the Royal Academy Of Music in 2018 after studying a Masters in musical theatre. Her performing credits include Tamara in the UK premiere of Unexpected Joy; Crissy in the UK and European tour of Hair The Musical; Anne Boleyn in Six The Musical (NCL Breakaway Premier Cruise Cast, America, Mexico and Caribbean); Princess Fiona in The Secret Society Of Leading Ladies; and Sam in Halls The Musical Workshop.

Lewis Devine will play French Frank. A popular performer at panto, Lewis proved a smash-hit when he appeared as Buttons in Cinderella at Regal Entertainments' production of Cinderella at The Epstein in 2019.

Lewis followed in the footsteps of his father Terry and entered the entertainment industry when he was just a youngster. He appeared and won the very first Kids Stars In Their Eyes as Donny Osmond; appeared on The Big Breakfast, Brookside, and John McArdle short film The Duke; as well as various adverts for Bugs Life, Adidas with Steven Gerrard, and Aintree Grand National. He recently attended the Sue Jenkins Theatre School, where he worked alongside directors, producers and actors from TV, film and theatre. He has previously played Muddles in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. Lewis runs The Devine Theatre Company to develop and support Merseyside youngsters in the entertainment industry, he is also part of comedy show band Schooner with his father Terry.

Jamie Greer will play Potty Polly. He has played the Dame in various productions for 20 years. Theatre credits include The Corrupted Angel (Base Chorus Productions); On Famine Road (Liverpool Lunchtime Theatre); Cornered (Rocket Theatre Company); The Man Who Stole The Winter Coat (European Tour); The Wizard Of Oz (The Lowry, Salford); Aladdin (The Regents Theatre, Stoke On Trent); Beauty And The Beast (Black-E Theatre Liverpool); Hoof! (national tours); Aladdin (The Lowry, Salford); Two (national tour); Dick Whittington (The Lowry, Salford); and Yellow Breck Road (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool). Television credits include Children's Ward; Always And Everyone; Heartbeat; Dockers; and Little Boy Blue.

James Lacey will play Madame Botox. His theatre credits include Shrek The Musical (UK Tour); John And Jen (Lantern Theatre Liverpool, Union Theatre London); 9 To 5 The Musical (UK Tour); High School Musical 2: Live On Stage (UK Tour); The Sound Of Music (UK Tour); Sasha Regan's All-Male Patience (Union Theatre London); Babes In Arms (Union Theatre London); Cabinet Of Screams (New Wimbledon Studio); Peter Pan (Wellingborough Castle Theatre); All My Sons (Liverpool Playhouse); Twopence To Cross The Mersey (Liverpool Empire); The Wizard Of Oz (Liverpool Playhouse); and Beauty And The Beast (Stockport Plaza).

Benjamin Keith will play Beast. Since training at Liverpool Theatre School, he has gone on to appear in productions including Galileo, The Laramie Project, A Fairy Tale Across The Mersey, Liver Birdsong, The Tenors, Godspell, The Ken Dodd Happiness Show, Daily Pulls It Off, Salad Days, Die Fladermaus, Quaker Girl, BBC Dance Proms, The Boy Friend, and The Mikado.

Regal Entertainments Ltd Company Director Jane Joseph added: "Christmas 2021 is going to be very special in so many ways after a tough 18 months. We cannot wait to reopen the doors to The Epstein - where I produced my first professional panto in 1994 at what then The Neptune. We have a fabulous cast who are excited to entertain families this festive season with a story of friendship and love, something we all need."

For more details check out www.epsteintheatre.co.uk and join the theatre's mailing list. Follow the venue on Facebook www.facebook.com/EpsteinTheatre and Twitter @EpsteinTheatre




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