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Easter panto - and awards nominations - for St Helens

Lauren McCrory and Benjamin Keith in Beauty and the Beast. Pic: David Munn
Lauren McCrory and Benjamin Keith in Beauty and the Beast. Pic: David Munn

If it’s Easter at St Helens Theatre Royal, it must be time for panto - the theatre stages Beauty and the Beast from April 5-16.

And the theatre’s policy of running several pantos at key family points of the year is paying off, with nominations in four categories for mother-and-daughter producers and theatre managers Jane Joseph and Chantelle Nolan at this year’s National Panto Awards.

The lavish production of Beauty and the Beast is directed by Chantelle, who has packed it with colourful costumes, comedy and a soundtrack of songs to sing along to.

The cast includes Lauren McCrory as Belle - who played the role when the company performed the show at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre, and has also played Wendy in Peter Pan and Cinderella. Also featured are Benjamin Keith as the Beast, Auguste Voulton as Gaston, Lewis Devine as French Frank, Abigail Middleton as Madam Botox, Marie Lovelady as Fairy Rose and Richard Aucott as Potty Polly.

Theatre Manager and the show’s director, Chantelle Nolan, said: “Beauty and the Beast is an enchanting show full of excitement, laughter and spectacle, and I know our St Helens audiences are going to absolutely love it.”

Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph
Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph

Regal Entertainments has also been shortlisted in four categories at the National Panto Awards, for productions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Epstein Theatre last Christmas, and Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal.

The nominations are for Best Small Panto (under 500 seats): Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre; Best Villain: Timothy Lucas as Baron Von Vippemall in Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Best Ensemble: Grace Faulkner, Jack Trafford, Lucy Stewart, Molly Thorpe Franklin, Callum Fairfield, Lucy Deakin and Georgia Murray in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Best Sound Design: Conrad Kemp for Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal.

Jane Joseph said: “This is fantastic news for everyone here, not least our extraordinarily talented and hard-working casts and creative teams who more than deserve this national industry recognition.

“A great panto can spark a lifelong love affair with the theatre, and that’s what we strive to give our audiences at both the Epstein and at St Helens.”

Along with show production, Regal Entertainments has run the St Helens theatre since 1999, and co-manages the Epstein.

Both theatres will have Easter panto: Beauty and the Beast at St Helens and Sleeping Beauty at the Epstein (April 7-16).

More info here

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