Beauty and the Beast opens at The Cresset on December 11.
Photos: Chris Brudenell
Beauty and the Beast opens at The Cresset on December 11. Photos: Chris Brudenell

Cresset panto is going to be a Beauty

It’s a tale as old as time, but when Beauty & The Beast opens at The Cresset on Saturday you can expect something quite spectacular.

Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 5:00 am

After last year’s socially distanced show was sadly cut short after just a week, this year they are back to full strength, and it’s back with a bang.

Writer and director Stuart Morrison, who has been working with The Cresset on their annual panto for over 10 years, said: “Last year was a challenge. “With the restrictions in place we really had to scale back the show, although I’m incredibly proud of what we put on, and it was a really special production.

“This year though, I’m throwing everything at it. All the favourite panto elements are there and we’ve got a fantastic cast who are just thrilled to be back on stage.”

Beauty & The Beast is a classic pantomime tale and while you can look forward to a happy ending, the classic love story promises plenty of fun. It’s full of jokes that’ll make you groan and the raucous audience participation that will get all the family involved.

And get ready for some entertaining song and dance numbers, as The Cresset have once again cast a team of local youngsters to support the principal cast on stage.

With more than 180 auditions taking place back in September, choreographer Monique Benoiton-Smith has been working hard with the talented young performers.

Monique said: “We were completely blown away by the talent on display at the auditions this year, and rehearsals have been going brilliantly. I’m really proud of all of them already and they haven’t even got on the stage yet.”

The principal cast is shaping up well too. Top of the bill is First Dates waiter Grant Urquhart as Silly Billy, a role which he says isn’t too far from his real-life personality.

Cresset regulars will welcome the return of Kim Taylforth as the Good Fairy. Formerly of TV’s Bad Girls and London’s Burning, Kim is making her third appearance at The Cresset. Other familiar faces are Victoria Jane as Beauty, and Vanessa Boland as the wicked Carabosse, who both shone in last year’s Jack & The Beanstalk. Joining them is Andrew Crawford, of CBBC’s Rhyme Rocket as the Beast, and the irrepressible Tony Howes as Nurse Jackie O’LaLa. And in case you missed it, keep your eyes peeled for Peter Burrow, the Peterborough United mascot who’s making a special appearance.

Beauty & The Beast runs at The Cresset from December 11 to 30 and tickets are on sale now at or call the box office on 01733 265705.

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