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Actor Ben Richards – well-known for his West End appearances and television roles including Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives, Holby City and The Bill – will appear in the lead role of Gaston. The full cast will be announced shortly.
Beauty And The Beast runs at The Epstein Theatre from Thursday 16 December 2021 and Sunday 9 January 2022. Tickets are priced from £15 and are on sale now.
Please note, there are no performances on Christmas Day (Saturday 25 December), Wednesday 5 January, or Thursday 6 January 2022.
The pantomime is the first live performances in the city centre venue since it closed its doors in March 2020 as part of the Government national Covid-19 lockdown.
The show announcement comes in the same week that it was revealed the Hanover Street venue has a new management team at the helm –Epstein Entertainments Ltd is a joint venture between Liverpool producers Bill Elms, Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph.
The theatre will retain the same name and continue to run as a variety venue with a mixed programme of entertainment.
Beauty And The Beast is sure to wow this Christmastime with a tale of love and kindness. Audiences will go on an exciting adventure during the family friendly pantomime. This is the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast. Will the Beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after?
Ben Richards will lead a talented cast of performers. Ben is a successful West End leading man and television and film actor. His extensive theatre career includes the roles of Kenickie in the original West End cast of Grease; Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever at the London Palladium; Skye Masterson in Guys And Dolls, for which he was nominated for a TMA Award for Best Actor In A Musical; Tick/Mitzi in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert at London’s Palace Theatre; Franklyn Hart in the original UK production of 9 To 5 The Musical; and the UK tour of Rock Of Ages playing Stacee Jaxx. His most recent theatre performance was opposite Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard at the Dominion Theatre, London.
His film credits include Relationships (pilot); Monsoon Tide; Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis; and Julie And The Cadillacs. Ben is probably best known for his regular television roles in Footballers’ Wives, The Bill, and Hollyoaks.
“I am really pleased to be back on stage in Liverpool, and looking forward to a great panto run to mark the exciting reopening of The Epstein Theatre.”
The new Epstein Entertainments Ltd management team are Bill Elms, Artistic and Communications Director; Chantelle Nolan, Artistic and Operations Director; and Regal Entertainments Ltd Company Director Jane Joseph.
Beauty And The Beast will be directed by Jane Joseph and produced by Regal Entertainments Ltd. The full creative team will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is a very exciting time – a long awaited return to a stunning venue with a fabulous history. In 1994 I produced my very first professional panto in what was then The Neptune, now in 2021 I’m bringing live family entertainment back to the Epstein stage. It’s special to be reopening The Epstein with Beauty And The Beast, a lavish and warm production – what our shows are all about.”
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