New comedy faces, West End wonders and a very talented beast gather for Newbury panto’s first read-through
THE cast of Beauty & The Beast, this year’s Corn Exchange ever-popular panto, gathered at Greenham’s 101 for the first read through and our snapper Phil Cannings was there, oh yes he was.
And they’re a cracking bunch featuring some new and familiar comedy faces, West End wonders and a very talented beast.
Once again the panto, which runs from November 24 to December 31, is written and directed by Plested, Brown and Wilsher Pantomime (Clare Plested, Adam Brown and Amanda Wilsher) who have delighted Newbury audiences for the past four years with their hilarious and fresh takes on much-loved pantomime tales Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk – not to mention their cheeky adult shows.
The team said: “The show features performers from West End productions such as Mamma Mia!, Rocky Horror Show and Les Misérables, and family favourites like Zog and Disney’s Winnie the Pooh live on stage.
“We’re also delighted to welcome back Chloe Gentles, Jade Johnson and Robbie Noonan for fun and frolics in Newburyshire. We can assure you our exceptionally talented Beauty and the Beast cast will give you a ‘roar-some’ time!”
There’ll be magic, mayhem and mischief aplenty, roaringly funny jokes, beastly amounts of magic and a hit list of songs for all ages. Plus the opportunity to boo and hiss...
And N2 photographer Phil was most impressed with what he heard, particularly the company’s own take on a Supergrass classic Alright.
When Belle wanders from her allotment, she finds herself trapped in an enchanted castle. But nothing is quite as it seems… can the Beast break the curse that holds him? Will Belle follow her heart to a happily ever after? Will love conquer all?
Making her return after starring in Cinderella in 2021, Chloe Gentles (Winnie The Pooh, Riverside Studios/UK Tour, Mamma Mia!, UK Tour) plays Belle, while Nathan Shaw (The Rocky Horror Show, UK Tour; Walk Like A Man, UK Tour) stars opposite her as the Beast. Robbie Noonan (Winnie The Pooh, Riverside Studios/UK Tour, Avenue Q UK Tour) also returns after his performance in last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk to play Batty, while Jade Johnson (Help! We Are Still Alive, Seven Dials Playhouse; The Book of Mormon, West End) will be spreading a little magic as Fairy Common, after starring in 2021’s Cinderella. Jenny Perry (The Rocky Horror Show, European tour) will give audiences an opportunity to boo and hiss as the Wicked Witch, joined by Lois Elizabeth Glenister (Stick Man, Leicester Square Theatre) as Ratty and Graham Mackay-Bruce (The Phantom of the Opera, West End; Chicago, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as the Dame. Completing this multi-talented cast are Abby Fell, Harry Warburton (who is making her professional debut) and Scott Hayward.