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Oh what a panto! Oh what a result! Torch Theatre’s 2023 pantomime Beauty and the Beast has broken Box Office records with over 6450 people coming to see it! With a new Artistic Director at the helm, its thrills and spills, giggles and gaffs are in safe hands.


Even with the cost-of-living crisis and people tightening their purse strings, the pantomime saw over 35 schools and community groups, local families as well as visitors to the county attend the family show – a pantomime that saw plenty of audience interaction and introduced more Welsh language content.


“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to see Beauty and the Beast. We were overwhelmed with the number of people who came along to boo and cheer,” explained Chelsey Gillard, Torch Theatre’s Artistic Director.


Chelsey is delighted with the support from all those who attended:


“It’s been such a privilege to share some festive magic at the end of a difficult year for so many. It was my first time writing and directing a panto and I can’t thank the incredible creative team and cast enough for their amazing work.


“It’s been a challenge at times, but ‘the show must go on’ meaning some of you were lucky enough to see Swing (understudy) Freya Dare step in as the Evil Fairy, Belle or even Belle’s Father! And for one very special day Lloyd Grayshon, who usually played Belle’s Father, slipped into a fabulous frock and entertained us all as the Fairy Godmother.”


This year’s pantomime included several local actors including Lloyd Grayshon from Haverfordwest and Samuel Freeman from Milford Haven.


Chelsey concluded: “It has been a pleasure to work with so many talented people from Pembrokeshire and south west Wales and to celebrate creativity across the county with our design a dress competition. I’m already looking forward to more silliness, songs and smiles in next year’s panto, Jack and the Beanstalk!”


Early bird ticket offers for the 2024 pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk are already on sale at the Torch Theatre’s Box Office until the end of January this year. Grab your tickets while you can!


Photo credit: Chris Lloyd


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