A Spell-Binding Cast Announced For This Year's Panto Beauty And The Beast
The Theatre Royal Nottingham has announced that this year’s sensational family pantomime Beauty and the Beast will star Sherrie Hewson, Ben Richards, Ben Nickless and Andrew Ryan, in an all-new spectacular production from Saturday 9 December.
Much-loved actress, TV star, ex-Loose Women presenter, and Nottingham native, Sherrie Hewson leads the cast of this year’s spectacular panto Beauty and the Beast as Mrs Potty. Her roles in Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Crossroads, and the legendary Carry On films have all led to Sherrie becoming one of Britain’s best-loved and most popular faces on television. In the last decade Sherrie made a niche for herself as the comedy cornerstone on Loose Women and also released her first novel, The Tannery, and best-selling autobiography, Behind the Laughter, before leaving the show in 2016.
An accomplished actress on the stage and screen, including a role in the classic 1976 film The Slipper and the Rose; Sherrie currently stars in the hit TV series Benidorm as Joyce Temple-Savage, the manager of the Solana Resort. She has been filming the tenth series since March and it is set to air in early 2018.
Ben Richards joins the line up as the Beast. After rising to fame on the ITV drama Footballers’ Wives, Ben went on to secure 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, and Little Shop of Horrors.
Further stage roles include Guys and Dolls opposite Miami Vice star Don Johnson; 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 musical 9 to 5 and Rock of Ages, both of which played at the Theatre Royal Nottingham. Most recently Ben starred as the titular character in The Bodyguard opposite Beverley Knight at the Dominion Theatre, London, which broke Box Office attendance records.
Zany impressionist and comedy actor Ben Nickless makes a welcome return to the Theatre Royal Nottingham pantomime. Ben’s career took off in 2006 when he appeared on the BBC television series Let Me Entertain You alongside Brian Conley and Christine Bleakley. Since then, Ben has become popular on the comedy circuit and has played comedy roles in many pantomimes. This will be Ben’s fourth Theatre Royal Nottingham pantomime, having previously appeared alongside David Hasselhoff in Peter Pan (2013), Lesley Joseph in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (2014), and Christopher Biggins and Simon Webbe in Aladdin (2015).
Completing the line-up this year is pantomime dame extraordinaire, Andrew Ryan. This year’s Theatre Royal production marks Andrew’s 31st pantomime, his 27th year as dame and his fourth appearance at the Theatre Royal Nottingham having previously appeared in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2014, Aladdin with Stephen Mulhern in 2010, and Jack and the Beanstalk with Nigel Havers in 2009. Andrew delights audiences every Christmas with his quick-fire comedy, dance routines, and outrageous costumes which he designs and creates himself. This year Andrew is also set to direct the production.
This year’s unmissable family show will be packed with all of the ingredients the Theatre Royal’s panto audience have come to expect from the East Midland’s biggest pantomime; lots of laughter, stunning costumes and sets, and quality entertainment for all the family. Beauty and the Beast will be magically brought to life by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer and the team behind the Theatre Royal’s recent record-breaking pantomimes.
Beauty and the Beast’s Executive Producer Jonathan Kiley said: “We’re very much looking forward to bringing the magic of Beauty and the Beast to the Theatre Royal Nottingham this year. To have the wonderful Sherrie, and the hilarious Andrew and Ben, leading our cast; we know this year’s production will be a must-see show.”
Jonathan Saville, the Theatre Royal’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Development is equally as excited: “Incredibly, we haven’t had a pantomime production of Beauty and the Beast since 1867, just before I joined the venue. This production will be a very welcome return of a much-loved classic 150 years since it last graced our stage. Ben and Andrew are very popular, familiar faces with our pantomime audience, so we’re all delighted to see them returning to us once again this year. Plus, with Sherrie being Nottinghamshire born and bred, I think it will feel a bit like one big, happy family reunion here at the Theatre Royal this Christmas!”
Dreaming of a happier life, the beautiful Belle finds herself transported to a cursed castle. Held captive by a hideous beast, the castle is full of magical characters placed under a spell by an evil enchantress. Can Belle see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, or will the Beast’s selfishness cost him the world he once knew and the hand of the girl who has melted his heart? In a production packed full of sensational special effects, beautiful costumes, music, comedy, dancing, and audience participation; Nottingham’s audiences should book their tickets now for this year’s spell-binding pantomime.
The Theatre Royal is delighted to announce that this year’s pantomime will be supported by our media partner Notts TV.