Meet the cast of The Epstein’s Christmas panto Beauty and the Beast

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hollyoaks star Ben Richards leads the cast as pantomime villain Gaston.

Beauty And The Beast is coming to The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool this panto season. Theatregoers will get a chance to see the timeless story of Belle, a young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast.

Hollyoaks star Ben Richards leads the cast

Star of Hollyoaks, The Bill and Footballers Wives actor Ben Richards will lead the cast as Gaston.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "Gaston is so much fun to play. He's a sort of different baddie. You know, I've played baddies in the past, but he's a baddie who doesn't know he's a baddie because he's so arrogant. He loves himself so much he can't understand why Belle doesn't fall at his feet."

Pantomime is a child’s first experience of the magic of theatre

James Lacey, who plays Gaston’s mum, the evil Madame Botox, said: "I have American friends who have no idea what pantomime is and do not understand the concept of it.

“Trying to explain what makes a panto so special to someone who hasn't grown up with the British pantomime tradition, it's like speaking a completely different language.

“They have no idea why we love it so much - I don't think any of us do, but for me, its the fact that I work in colleges and schools and to see a child's first experience of the magic of theatre."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A word from the director

Director Jane Joseph said: "Christmas 2021 is going to be very special in so many ways after a tough 18 months. We cannot wait to reopen the doors to The Epstein – where I produced my first professional panto in 1994 at what was then The Neptune.

“We have a fabulous cast who are excited to entertain families this festive season with a story of friendship and love, something we all need."

When is The Epstein panto on?

Beauty And The Beast is at the theatre throughout the festive season from 16 December until Sunday 9 January.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.