In Beauty and the Beast (Key Theatre, April 20 and 21) TV legend Keith Chegwin stars as Jolly King Cheggers, protecting his Kingdom of Ooh La La against the threat of the ferocious Beast and the Beast’s silly sidekick played by “national treasure” Basil Brush.
Living in the Kingdom are X Factor star Stevi Ritchie’s Wally and Belle played by children’s TV presenter Olivia Birchenough of Channel 5 Milkshake fame.
Completing the cast is Scott Wright as the Beast, Quinn Patrick as Dame Dolly, Amy Forrest as the enchanting Fairy Tale and Michael Winsor as Claude.
Juvenile dancers will be provided by local performing arts schools, all accompanied by fantastic live musicians.
Belle lives a provincial life with her father Claude and her friends Wally and his mother Dame Dolly.
When Claude gets held captive by the Beast, Belle agrees to trade places with him. Cue fun, frolics and madcap mayhem as Wally, Dolly and the King set out on a rescue mission aided by the mysterious narrator Fairy Tale.
Audiences can expect two and a half hours of toe-tapping song and dance, stunning costumes and fantastic sets with special effects all wrapped up in a hilarious laugh-a- minute script.
Producer Anton Benson said: “A panto is for life and not just for Christmas. Our regulars love our annual Christmas shows and given how much of a hit our production of Beauty was with audiences last Easter we are delighted to be bringing it to further venues this year.”
Keith Chegwin is one of the UK’s most popular TV personalities, now into his 44th year in show- business. His big break came at the age of 17 when he landed a presenting job on Saturday morning Children’s BBC programme SWAP SHOP before moving on to SATURDAY SUPERSTORE and the now legendary CHEGGERS PLAYS POP.