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A Beautiful Way To Spend Christmas

beauty and the beast visual identityA beastly tale beautifully told will entertain audiences at The Dukes in Lancaster this festive season.

Beauty and the Beast, which runs from November 20, 2015 to January 2, 2016, is a classic fairytale full of adventure, fun, wonderful characters and drama.

The audience is invited to join Belle as she leaves her family and ventures deep into the forest towards the magical castle. There she confronts the Beast, a grizzly and gruesome creature who’s in hiding from the world.

Can the Beast soften and change during Belle’s stay in his home or must Belle look beyond his grotesque appearance to what really matters?

Performed in The Round, this new version of Beauty and the Beast has been adapted by the Lancaster-based writer and father-of-two, Eddie Robson.

It promises to be a feelgood festive treat for all the family and is the perfect Christmas play for anyone aged 5 plus.

Beauty and the Beast is the fourth Dukes Christmas production in The Round to be directed by Joe Sumsion who saw a version of this fairytale when he made his first ever theatre visit to The Dukes in 1973 aged 5.

He said: “Beauty and the Beast is a fantastic, rich and moving story – the best of all fairytales for my money. It’s about the idea of true beauty and how it could be that a young, beautiful woman would fall for a hideous beast. Presenting this story in The Round, with the audience in touching distance of the characters, will give it an extra frisson.”

Beauty and the Beast is the highlight of The Dukes festive season which also includes a Christmas Cabaret with Slightly Fat Features on December 10 & 11 and a selection of seasonal film screenings.

Read our review of Beauty And The Beast

To book tickets for Beauty and the Beast, ring The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit (opens The Dukes website in a new window)

Beauty and the Beast is written by Lancaster-based Eddie Robson who has previously contributed to The Dukes youth theatre productions of Your Country Needs You (But I Don’t Need My Country) and Your Country Called(And It Wants You Back) as well as Late Night Lock-In. He has written episodes of Sarah & Duck for Cbeebies and Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, sketches for Mitchell and Webb, and ten episodes of Radio 4 Extra’s Doctor Who series. His other work includes a novel, non-fiction books on film and TV, and comic strips for Marvel Comics and 2000AD.

All but one of the cast will be familiar to Dukes audiences.

Victoria Brazier (Adelaide/Narrator 2/Whitelaw/Hatstand) played Nancy/the Judge/Noah Claypole in Oliver Twist this summer.

Gareth Cassidy - shown below, (Beast/Narrator/Judge/Factory Worker) played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol in 2013 and has also appeared in Treasure Island, Hansel & Gretel And More Tales From The Forest, The Life and Times of Mitchell & Kenyon, Pierrepoint and Peter Pan.

Polly Lister(Felicity/Narrator 3/Statue) appeared as the Witch in Hansel & Gretel And More Tales From The Forest in 2014 and has just won a UK Theatre Award for her performance in Abigail’s Party at Keswick’s Theatre By The Lake. She will also take the lead in her self-penned one woman show I Was A Wife early in the New Year at The Dukes.

Guy Hargreaves(Beaumont/Armour 2) also appeared in Hansel & Gretel And More Tales From The Forest, Robin Hood, Peter Pan and Accrington Pals.

Derek Elwood(Narrator 1/Mayhew/Clock) appeared in The Twits in 2006.

Making her Dukes Christmas show debut will be Natasha Davidson - shown below) who plays Belle and was seen in The Round as Fanny in Bolton Octagon’s production of Hindle Wakes earlier this year.

Gareth CassidyNatasha Davidson