It can’t be panto time already can it? Oh yes it can! Oh no it can’t! I’m afraid it can, even though it’s only July. The Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime 2018 looks like being particularly spiffing fun this year. Management are recommending that people book early for the best seats (out of the range of Steve Royle’s super-soaker). This year everybody’s Christmas highlight is a departure with the new show, Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty is Belle a lady dreaming of a happy life but finding herself trapped in a cursed castle, imprisoned by a hideous beast himself beholden to an evil enchantress. Love is the way out of the snare, but can Belle put looks aside and love the beast. Featuring sumptuous costumes, magnificent scenery and the magical transformation moment, this is an unmissable show; a fairy story with a strong message.
Casting for the new show is underway and it’s been announced that Danny Walters will take the role of Prince and Beast. Danny is an experienced star of stage and screen and has ‘done’ panto previously, playing in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Billingham Forum Theatre. He has recently assumed the part of Keanu Taylor in the BBC’s Eastenders. Prior to this he was known as stroppy teenager Tiger Dyke in hit ITV comedy Benidorm (2014-2017). Danny has also contributed to BAFTA-nominated BBC mini-series Our World War and the BBC series Call The Midwife. He became a National Television Award Winner ‘Best Newcomer’ for his Eastenders part. Danny says:
‘I am delighted and excited to be performing at this iconic theatre over the festive season. The Grand Theatre has a reputation for excellence and I feel privileged to be part of Beauty and the Beast’.
Danny Walters will be ably supported by the Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime legend that is Radio Lancashire’s Steve Royle, returning for his 16th year (don’t think about that too much, Steve) as Louis La Plonk. Steve is currently rehearsing for a world premiere of Dan Leno – A Royal Jester for Lytham Festival. has supported both Peter Kay and Dave Spikey on tour and was voted ‘Entertainer of the Year’ at the Red Rose Awards. It’s hard to imagine Blackpool’s panto without Steve Royle and one always wonders what new tricks he’s going to bring to the show each year, together with the usual wit and whiplash fast delivery.
Welcome back to Radio Wave’s Hayley Kay as the magical fairy after last year’s break. Hayley works closely with the Grand throughout the year. She is a well-known presenter at Fylde Coast events including the Blackpool 10K Fun Run, Education Awards, Illumination Switch On, NHS Awards, Santa Dash, Miss Blackpool, Trinity’s Illumathon. This year she also joined the Lytham Festival team. Charitable work includes School’s Alive at The Grand Theatre and an ambassadorial role for the Blackpool Carers Centre, Blackpool Scouts & Girlguiding UK. With Hayley back in place, it feels like the party can really start.
It’s also welcome back to Nick Wilton playing our dame this year, after he has contributed so much to previous shows. Nick has made the part of Mr Lister in EastEnders his own.
The Grand’s Marketing Manager, Andrew Howard, said:
‘We’re so lucky working with such an incredible team to present this show. Casting has been incredibly exciting, and it’s been hard keeping the news that Danny will join us quiet: we know he’s going to be a huge hit. Ticket sales are way ahead of last year; I’d recommend booking early.
The show guarantees great sets, cool costumes and side-splitting comedy in this innovative new production. We’re incredibly lucky to have Damian Sandys, nominated for Best Director in the 2017/18 Great British pantomime awards returning to direct this year.’
Remaining casting will be announced soon.
The Grand aims to offer opportunities to those less fortunate and this year will launch very special Magic & Sparkle tickets! Customers can purchase one extra pantomime ticket at a very special rate, which will be donated to organisations and community groups to be distributed to people who might otherwise be excluded from the fun. Look out for the Magic & Sparkle ticket add-on.
The Blackpool Grand Theatre pantomime 2018 will go on 7 December 2018 to 6 January 2019. Book online at Blackpoolgrand.co.uk or call the box office on 01253 290190. Our favourite theatre can be followed on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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