Challenge is on to make this year's Grand panto 'bigger and better'

Beauty and the Beast pantomime at The Grand
Beauty and the Beast pantomime at The Grand

Blackpool Grand Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast pantomime has proved to be its most popular yet.

The panto, which ran from December 2018 to January this year, saw almost an 80 per cent increase in attendance from under 18s, based on figures from previous years.

Tickets sales as a whole were up by almost 10 per cent.

Andrew Howard, marketing manager at the Blackpool Grand Theatre, said: “It may seem an odd time to start talking about the Christmas panto, but it’s at this time of year we review our figures and our Beauty and Beast pantomime looks to be our best yet in terms of attendance, in particular with a big increase in attendance from under 18s and students.”

The Beauty and Beast pantomime saw EastEnders and Benidorm star Danny Walters play the Prince, and Hayley Kay star as ‘Fairy Bon Bon’ alongside panto favourite Steve Royle, fwho was making his 16th annual appearance as ‘Louis La Plonk’.

The panto was produced by Martin Dodd of UK Productions in partnership with the Grand and has been nominated for three Great British Pantomime Awards: Best Costume Design, Best Supporting Male and Best Script.

Andrew added: “We know we have really set ourselves a challenge now, to go bigger and better with our next panto production.

“We’ve got an absolute classic planned for 2019, J M Barrie’s Peter Pan, which is always a favourite.”